Ryan Mathews' broken clavicle is expected to sideline him four to six weeks. A return on the early side, an orthopedic surgeon said Friday, would be highly irregular.
Dr. Daniel Kharrazi, an orthopedic surgeon at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, has his doubts. Team sources also conceded Friday that Mathews is likely to miss the start of the season.
"Frankly, I don't think most people would release him before six weeks," said Kharrazi, who hasn't worked on Mathews' case. "The healing time is four to six weeks. So, especially in a professional athlete, I think you're going to take the extra step to make sure it's 100 percent healed because you don't want it to get hit on, and if it's not properly healed, he can reinjure the shoulder. ...
"Obviously, athletes are really good at rehab, but I've never seen someone come back on the field following surgery from a clavicular fracture in four weeks. I think the earliest, earliest by far would be six weeks, if not a little bit longer than that."
Simply docking Mathews for two games would make him our RB7, but we moved him down a bit further to RB14 due to the sheer frequency of his injuries and the chances for re-injury. He's worth the risk in the 3rd round, but we don't recommend burning a 2nd-round pick on injury-prone RB who is very likely to miss at least two games.