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Cowboys' OT Colombo's Procedure Offers Optimistic & Pessimistic Scenarios

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I spoke to a surgeon this morning, who offered this assessment of Marc Colombo's knee scope:

"This tells you that Colombo has cartilage damage.  What we don't know, and what we won't know is the severity of damage to the joint.  That's something only the operating doctor knows.  It can range from minimal damage where Colombo's still good for a while, or he may be at the point where this could affect him all year long.

The loose bodies removed can get into the joint and cause pain.  If they were large enough, they could also cause the knee to lock up.  If this has been a long-term problem, it's possible that Colombo could come back and play better. That's the optimistic scenario.

On the down side, this is the beginning of a degenerative process.  You can remove the damaged cartilage and shave down any rough edges where cartilage was removed, but you can't replace that injured cartilage.  You put a lot of pressure and torque on those knees so the damage is going to continue.  

Those are the parameters.  In the best scenario he could come back and feel and play better.  In the worst, he may move farther along the down slope.  Colombo will return in a month, so we won't have to wait long to know where on this spectrum he sits."