Mike Pouncey undergoes hip surgery, could miss at least 3 months

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

An unexpected procedure could cost Miami its Pro Bowl center for the first month of the NFL season.

Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey had surgery on his hip on Monday and will miss at least three months, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

The news is entirely unexpected, as there had been no rumblings of a hip injury for the 2013 Pro Bowler. There's been no word yet on how the injury occurred or the details of the operation.

UPDATE 4:34 p.m.: The procedure is the result of a labrum injury that has been nagging Pouncey for most of the spring, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network.

UPDATE 5:45 p.m.: Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that Pouncey suffered a "significant tear" during Dolphins OTAs. Florio added that "three months [for recovery] is the absolute minimum, and it's a very optimistic assessment."

The earliest expected recovery time would put Pouncey back on the field sometime in late September, threatening his status for the first month of the season. The Dolphins have a bye in the first week of October, which would give Pouncey an additional week of recovery if Miami opted to bring him back against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 12.

The timing of the injury at least gives the Dolphins all of training camp to figure out Pouncey's short term replacement. Second-year man Sam Brenner is listed as the backup center on the team's official depth chart.

The injury is a major blow to Miami's hopes for an improved offensive front this season, at least in the short term. The unit, which allowed the most sacks in the league and ranked third worst in run blocking by Pro Football Focus in 2013, has undergone heavy modifications, including the addition of high-priced left tackle free agent Branden Albert and first-round draft pick Ja'Wuan James.

If Pouncey indeed can't go in Week 1, the Dolphins will begin their season without a single offensive line starter from a year ago.

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