When Ravens reserve defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore undergoes surgery Friday to repair a torn Achilles tendon, it will begin a lengthy period of rehabilitation.
Lewis-Moore's surgery will be performed in Charlotte, N.C., by Dr. Robert Anderson, a renowned orthopedic surgeon specializing in treating foot and ankle injuries who's the Carolina Panthers' team doctor. Anderson also completed the surgery on Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs' partially torn Achilles tendon in 2012.
The outlook appears positive for Lewis-Moore with a projected return to full activity in six to eight months that should allow some participation next spring in offseason activities, according to Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, an orthopedic surgeon and co-chair for medical affairs for the Institute of Sports Science in Los Angeles. Mandelbaum doesn't treat Lewis-Moore.
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Lewis-Moore, 24, will miss the entire 2014 season.
"It's a bad injury," Mandelbaum said in a telephone interview. "The prognosis is good for a full return nowadays with the repair techniques that premier surgeons like Dr. Anderson do, followed by rehab techniques that all elite NFL players have available to them. He should get back to playing professional football somewhere around six to eight months. At his age, you can rest assured he will return to full unencumbered function.
"He won't be 100 percent at first, but the most likely probability is he will return to his old form by next season. There shouldn't be a limitation on him much after six months for the spring activities. He'll be able to exercise the muscle earlier than you could previously. That allows the muscle and tendon to repair itself. It's a more efficient way for a high-performance athlete like that."
Lewis-Moore was out for his entire rookie season last year with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee suffered when playing for Notre Dame in the BCS national title game against Alabama. He also detached his medial collateral ligament in the same knee the previous season against Southern California.
"Thank you guys for all the tweets, texts and calls over the past few days since my injury," Lewis-Moore wrote on his official Twitter account. "It's been tough but I will be back to 100% soon. Bright side of this that Achilles doesn't take as long as a ACL."
Mandelbaum, a former B team lacrosse coach at Johns Hopkins during his residency prior to attending medical school at Washington University in St. Louis, said it's unlikely that the previous knee problems for Lewis-Moore made him more susceptible to tearing his Achilles.
"The previous injury, nothing about that directly has to do with the one injury causing the other," Mandelbaum said. "In my view, the adaptation period for elite athletes when they're in training camps early in the preseason, when they're thrown into an elite level, can sometimes be a factor in this rare kind of injury for a 24-year-old. It does occur, but it's not that common."