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Making sense of the Chiefs’ injury updates from Wednesday

Breaking down the information given to the public by Chiefs VP of Sports Medicine and Performance Rick Burkholder.

Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chief Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Editor’s note: Kansas City Chiefs head athletic trainer and VP of sports medicine and performance Rick Burkholder provided updates on Eric Berry, Daniel Sorensen and Byron Pringle on Wednesday. Our in-house medical expert, Aaron Borgmann, provides further interpretation here.

S Eric Berry

“I know there has been a lot of questions about Eric Berry,” Burkholder said. “I know coach (Andy Reid) has said that it’s day to day. It is literally day to day. He won’t practice [Wednesday], but he’s spent a lot of time with us. He’s improving, he’s getting better every day and so we’ll continue with that process.”

Not a lot to interpret here. Seems as if there have been good days with progress based upon what we have been told. Every injury has its own characteristics and heel injuries can be tricky. Based upon what we have been told, it sounds as if things are moving in the right direction and we may see the player practice at some point soon, but as with anything, every day brings new challenges and hurdles to jump through.

S Daniel Sorensen

“It was four weeks ago [Wednesday] that he had the surgery,” Burkholder said of Sorensen. “He’s been with us constantly doing pool work. Every day, he’s in. He’s going to meetings, all that. We won’t know anything for two more weeks before we study that, but he’s where he’s supposed to be right now. He’s working hard, so in a couple weeks, we’ll give you an update on that.”

As we discussed at the time of surgery, the minimum time to expect bone healing is six weeks, and that’s what we see here. Since it has been stated that he has been placed on IR, the NFL mandates that this designation requires the player misses eight games, as was eluded to by general manager Brett Veach earlier as well. That’s not to say that the player cannot be deemed ready prior to that, but by rule, he cannot play before that.

Don’t expect to see this player prior to that mark. If he is doing well, expect to see him rejoin practice at that point and re-acclimate to those activities before being cleared to play. More decisions will be made at that time.

S Byron Pringle

“[Pringle] pulled his left hamstring,” Burkholder said. “When we did an MRI, we found that he had a left inguinal hernia, and that hernia needed immediate attention, so he had surgery [Tuesday] at the Kansas University Medical Center by Dr. John Alley, and so he’s got an extended recovery ahead of him for the hernia, and in the meantime the hamstring will also get attention, but the hamstring will clear up quicker than the hernia will, so he’s going to miss some time.”

It’s always an interesting case when you go looking for one specific injury and find another one—in this case, searching for the degree of hamstring injury and finding and unrelated medical situation, an inguinal hernia.

A fairly common condition in the public, less so in my experience in athletes, inguinal hernias come in various types and forms and timelines for recovery vary based upon the procedure performed, so we will have to wait for more information on this condition going forward.

We can assume from the quotes made earlier today that the hamstring condition is considered milder in nature, but combined with the hernia, enough to warrant IR time.

Aaron Borgmann is the founder of Borgmann Rehab Solutions. He spent 12 years in the NFL as an assistant athletic trainer and physical therapist before joining Arrowhead Pride.

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