Roy Helu Jr. had surgery on February 5th to correct a lingering injury to his left foot, the Redskins running back said Friday.
Helu got hurt in the season opener in 2012 and, after attempting to play through the discomfort, he eventually landed on the injured reserve list September 26, ending his second NFL season after only three games. The originally diagnosis was a turf toe-like ailment, but when Helu still couldn’t run at full speed in January, and X-rays and MRI exams did not reveal any structural damage, he began searching for answers.
“In January, I hit a road block, where I couldn’t sprint but everything else was great. I could jog at a high pace, I just couldn’t sprint,” Helu said in a phone conversation. "I made the decision to see what was wrong. I just knew my body was telling me that, with this amount of time, I should be recovered.”
After visiting with foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, Helu opted for a surgical procedure.
“Off of an instinct that something was wrong, we went into surgery,” Helu said. “And we found out there was damaged cartilage [near the big toe] that was causing the problem, but it wasn’t showing up on anything. Thankfully we found it and now it’s gone. The road to recovery this time, since February, has been a lot better.”
Helu ran for the first time since the surgery on Tuesday, and based on how he’s feeling, he said he's aiming to be “without limitations” at the start of OTAs on May 20th.
If Helu can get healthy, he could serve as the change-of-pace back to Alfred Morris, who is not particularly adept at catching the ball out of the backfield.