After sitting out the team’s recent OTAs, the Colts’ 4x NFL All-Pro linebacker underwent surprising back surgery on Tuesday to help correct the issue, but all signs continue to be encouraging—as he’s already walking around just a day later.
If you ask the source himself, Leonard is ‘feeling amazing and ready to get back going’:
Surgery went well, feeling amazing and ready to get back going! If you know me you know I always come back way better than I was! Let’s go man ankle feels amazing and can’t wait to get back moving! Thanks for the texts and calls! https://t.co/jMpee1PStc— Darius Leonard (@dsleon45) June 7, 2022
Leonard’s current expected recovery timetable is that he will likely miss some training camp time, but should be able to return to the football field by the start of the 2022 season.
As McAfee notes, no surgery is insignificant though—especially on your back, particularly for a Colts franchise that has seemingly been snakebitten by a number of significant injuries in more recent seasons (*cough* Andrew Luck *cough*).
That being said, Leonard underwent what was considered minor cleanup surgery on his left ankle last June, and the ailment continued to linger well into the 2021 campaign.
He missed the first two weeks of last year’s training camp, and his mobility was significantly limited to initially begin the regular season.
He had to labor through the injury all year, eventually playing at a First-Team All-Pro level again (once his ankle improved at least slightly)—with 12 total takeaways and 122 tackles for the Colts.
However, the fact that his ankle was continuing to be an issue this offseason wasn’t ideal news for the Colts. This is a problem that all parties wanted to nip in the bud and not let it persist substantially into 2022.
It turns out that it was a back nerve that may be the primary culprit for his ankle’s continued woes—and the hope is that his latest surgery may have finally resolved the issue for good.