Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon hopes to avoid surgery on his injured toe this offseason, according to the Washington Post. Garcon wants to do "everything possible to avoid surgery" to repair the torn ligament in the second toe of his right foot.
Garcon injured his toe in the season-opener against the New Orleans Saints, when he scored a touchdown on an 88-yard reception. It was an explosive, but disappointing beginning to his season, after signing a five-year, $42.5 million deal with $20.5 million guaranteed in the offseason.
He was expected to become one of the team's top targets, next to fellow signee Joshua Morgan and long-time Redskin Santana Moss. Garcon went on to miss six of the next eight games, however, and suggested that the pain was too great for him to do any basic moves, like push off or change direction.
His injury is technically described as a "plantar plate tear." The plantar plate is a ligament that holds the toe in its joint, which means any pressure around the area results in painful movement. Surgery is very restrictive to movement in general.
Recently, Sean Lee, linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, underwent surgery to repair a complete tear of the plantar plate. He was in a walking boot from the time of his surgery in October to about mid-December and was placed on injured reserve. He still has a long recovery before being cleared for contact in the offseason.
Even though Garcon's procedure wouldn't be as bad as he only suffered from a partial tear, he still wants to avoid surgery. "Hopefully surgery is not an option, but if I get enough doctors to say I need surgery, then surgery it is," Garcon said, as quoted in the link above.
Garcon claims that the pain has not subsided by any means, but that he has gotten used to playing with the pain. "But, if I can limp around for seven more years, I'll probably limp around for seven more years and be all right," he told the Post.
He was hardly "limping around" when he returned after Washington's Week 10 bye. He payed in all seven games to close out the season and picked up 480 yards and three touchdowns off 36 receptions, including a 106-yard game against the New York Giants in December.
Garcon can now begin his offseason recovery regimen proper, as the Redskins were eliminated from the playoffs after a 24-14 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Garcon caught four passes for 50 yards and no touchdowns in the game.