Montana has surgery on knee, too

March 12, 1992|By Ann Killion | Ann Killion,Knight-Ridder

SAN JOSE, CALIF. B — SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Joe Montana's rehabilitation from elbow surgery has been interrupted for more than a week because of arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

Montana said yesterday that he had the surgery Saturday to clean out cartilage from his knee in an effort to be completely healthy by the opening of San Francisco 49ers training camp in July.

"I should have had it a year and a half ago," Montana said. "I kept postponing it. But it kept acting up and I didn't want another problem going into camp."

The procedure was the eighth surgery of the quarterback's career, and the second in five months. Montana, 35, underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon in his right elbow Oct. 9. His left knee has undergone arthroscopic surgery twice before, in February 1983 and May 1989.

"I pivot on it, so there's a grinding of cartilage," Montana said.

Montana said he probably also aggravated the knee because he has been doing more jogging than usual since his elbow surgery.

"The knee clicks and pops and catches every now and then," he said.

Montana was walking easily Wednesday and said he was on crutches only Saturday afternoon. But, because he pivots on the knee, he has not been able to pass since the operation. Montana said he expects to resume throwing Monday, after being cleared by team doctor Michael Dillingham, who performed the procedure.

Montana last threw the ball March 4. He was scheduled to throw in front of reporters the next day, but rain postponed the workout. On Friday, Montana canceled the rescheduled session because of personal business. Montana said that he did have other commitments Friday, but that he also talked to Dillingham about his knee and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging test.

"I just said, 'Look, it's really bugging me,'" Montana said. "They found a bunch of pieces in there."

Montana, who had planned to pass every day last week, said that after throwing three days straight his arm was fine, but "it gets tired easier." He said he'd like to push his rehabilitation, both in amount of throwing and length of passes, but team trainers are keeping him in check.

"The longest I threw was about 30 yards," he said. "And they said, 'Please don't do that.' "

Montana underwent the knee surgery at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City. He said he thought the reason the surgery was undetected for a while was because of his novel approach to registering.

"I used my own name," he said. "Usually I register under someone else's. This time I used my own and nobody believed it."

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