Doctors find more significant tear in surgery
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Associated Press

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin, last season's offensive rookie of the year, underwent arthroscopic surgery Wednesday and could be sidelined at least eight weeks.

Coach Dennis Green initially said an MRI found "a slight tear" in the cartilage and thought Boldin would be able to return within two weeks. But during the procedure, doctors found and repaired a more significant tear, Green said.

"We are looking at what is typically an eight- to 12-week injury," Green said about the length of Boldin's rehabilitation.

That means Boldin, Arizona's only Pro Bowl player last year after setting an NFL rookie record with 101 catches, may not be back until at least early October -- a severe blow to Green's plan to juice up the offense. Two of the three young receivers who figured to start in his preferred three-wideout set are injured.

One of them, Bryant Johnson, had a boot removed which he wore for more than a month to protect the stress fracture in his right foot. Johnson, last year's first-round draft pick, planned to begin full-speed running within two weeks and return to action soon.

Larry Fitzgerald, drafted No. 3 overall this year, has been practicing the routes of all three receiving positions, and quarterback Josh McCown said backups have been impressive in camp.

"Bryan Gilmore can step in there, Karl Williams can step in there, Nate Poole," McCown said. "We've got guys that can step up and play. Jason McAddley has started in the NFL before, so we've got guys that have played. It's not like in the past where we've been so young in depth."

Boldin missed his junior year at Florida State because of reconstructive surgery on a tendon in his left knee.

This time, his knee was sore Monday and he sat out the always intense morning practice. On Tuesday, he was warming up for practice when his knee locked up and he was carted from the field.