Bottom line: Expect him to be ready to play at the start of the season. His surgery was done to treat ankle injuries that he was playing through with anti-inflammatory medications. Surgical details weren’t made public, but reports indicate that a return to pre-injury form is expected.
Injury: Both ankles
Date of Injury: 8/4/19
Date of Surgery: 12/5/19
Analysis in Detail:
Return to Play
Ebron has stated that he is currently not 100% recovered, but he is expected to be healthy by the start of team activities. The Steelers signed him after evaluation by an independent doctor, implying that his physical issues are not likely to interfere with his return.
We have limited information on Ebron’s injury details, but he states that he had been dealing with ankle pain since August 2019. Since he was trying to play through his injury, his ankles were likely not structurally at risk for worsening and his surgery may have involved a clean-up of the joint or reconstruction of chronically injured ligaments. Overall, professional athletes do well from these types of procedures, with high rates of return and sports performance.
A subset of athletes treated with these surgeries have residual pain postoperatively. Depending on what structures were injured in Ebron’s ankle, he may have an increased risk of arthritis down the road, but this is not likely to affect his short-term return and durability.
Image Source: KA Sports Photos, CC BY-SA-2.0