Ryan Fitzpatrick has a torn ligament in his left thumb, this much is known. But as for recovery time, how much (if any) he can practice this week and his availability for Sunday is anyone’s guess.
Last Monday during a conference call with the media, New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles said his starting quarterback is “day-to-day” with regards to availability for Week 9. It is a prognosis clouded with uncertainty, perhaps on purpose, as the Jets ready for an opponent on Sunday in the Jacksonville Jaguars who are also in need of a win. Geno Smith entered the game in the first quarter after Fitzpatrick went down and he too suffered an injury in the fourth quarter when he bruised his shoulder.
As for the specifics of Fitzpatrick’s injury, little is known now. But according to Dr. Michelle Carlson, an orthopedic surgeon at Hospital for Special Surgery who specializes in sports-related hand injuries, these types of injuries can be serious.
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“Most ligaments take six weeks to three months to heal completely but often players can return before then with the thumb protected in a splint,” Dr. Carlson told Metro.
“In cases like this, it is better that the injury occurred in his non-throwing hand. It is possible that by wearing a protective splint, he can return to play sooner.”
Bowles on Monday said that Fitzpatrick will need surgery at some point but indicated that it isn’t necessary right at this moment. All of which means that his veteran under center will be playing in a certain amount of pain this year.
“If the ligament is partially torn, the injury may be able to be treated using a splint,” Dr. Carlson said. “If it is completely torn, this type of injury usually requires surgery.”