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Dustin Byfuglien Has Had Ankle Surgery

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Is this the road to a return to the Jets, or the beginning of the end?

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-St. Louis Blues at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

A variety of national and local media sources including Bob McKenzie and Elloitte Friedman reported yesterday that Dustin Byfuglien had ankle surgery this week in Minneapolis. Jets management apparently was somewhat surprised by this indicating that while they were aware he was contemplating having surgery, they were not directly involved in his decision to proceed. As various media members like Mike McIntryre have pointed out, it is a bit strange that Buff didn’t report to camp, then go on injured reserve, which would have allowed him to collect his salary.

Based on this recent news, on the Elisabeth Kubler Ross five stages of grief model (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance), I’ve officially moved into the final stage, acceptance. I think it’s best for my sports fan mental health to accept that the Jets will play this season without Dustin Byfuglien.

We likely will not learn about the specific type of surgery Buff had, but it was likely some type of ankle ligament reconstruction. Typically this means several weeks in a cast and starting rehabilitation and exercise within approximately six weeks. One of the limiting factors for ankle or foot injuries is weight bearing activities, which is typically worse for larger, heavier patients, like Buff. This is one of the reasons why NBA players with foot and ankle injuries struggle to get back to full capacity – big, heavy athletes putting a lot of strain on a small ankle joint, which is not supported by the amount of surrounding muscle that other joints such as knees, shoulders are. Not to mention possible complications such as osteoarthritis and the difficulty supporting that area with brace while wearing a skate.

Sorry to be so full of sunshine and optimism, but, basically we need to look at this as a minimum of three month recovery, which would bring us to February at the earliest. That time estimate is for ankle recovery only, not necessarily Buff being in playing shape. If he returned at the beginning of February 2020, the Jets would have 30 regular season games remaining, and possibly playoffs (assuming they are still in the hunt by February). I’m not overly optimistic that Buff will be able to, or choose to return to the Jets following surgery sometime in February 2020.

Given the news, what do you think will happen? Please take our survey below and add your own preferences, wishes or best guesses in the comments section.

Poll

What do you think will happen regarding Dustin Byfuglien this season?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Buff will fully recover from ankle surgery and return to the Jets invigorated some time in early 2020.
    (10 votes)
  • 51%
    Buff will not return to the Jets this year, and the Jets will play out the season with the existing roster (Jets and Moose).
    (47 votes)
  • 37%
    Whether he plans on returning or not, this recent news will prompt Chevy to make some trades to try to fill the void that Buff’s absence has created.
    (34 votes)
91 votes total Vote Now