On Monday, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Shaquille Leonard provided an encouraging update in his rehabilitation from a season-ending second back surgery:
“Following the first surgery in June, I didn’t have any sensation down my leg for the full time I was trying to play,” said Leonard in his end-of-season interview. “Couldn’t do a calf raise. I had no power in my left side.”
“And then post-surgery the second time, you know I started feeling the tingles in my calf. The tingles down my hamstring and my glute, stuff like that, and as of right now, everything’s fine. It’s just not strong enough yet. So my job now is to continue to take it slow. To continue to make sure I’m working the right muscles, and to be ready for next season.”
The Colts’ 4x NFL All-Pro linebacker was placed on season-ending injured reserve after undergoing a second back surgery after his nerves in his left side still weren’t properly firing up after Indianapolis’ Week 9 loss to the New England Patriots.
Leonard finished the season with 11 tackles (8 solo), a pass defensed, and an interception during 3 games (1 start).
Leonard indicated that interim head coach Jeff Saturday, who actually had nerve issues in his hand that required a surgery during his playing days, actually encouraged him to get another MRI on his back and ultimately elected to shut him down for the season, following the results and the need for a second surgery.
‘The Maniac’ clearly didn’t look like himself when he returned to the field this season in Week 4 (and having later suffered a concussion and a broken nose which cost him starts).
Leonard notes that while the first surgery didn’t properly correct the issue, he also rushed his recovery, wanting to get back on the field and compete with his teammates too soon.
He attests that won’t happen again this time around, as Leonard will take his time through the recovery process (*until he’s fully ready), but believes he’ll back in time for next season—and more importantly, back to being his familiar All-Pro self again:
“I have zero doubt in my mind that I won’t be back to being me,” Leonard stated.