Still no official word out of Berea on what injury LeCharles Bentley sustained to his left knee during the very first scrimmage play of the very first practice on the first full day of training camp.
Bentley was throwing a block for Reuben Droughns when he apparently got caught in a pile of 300-pound trench oxen. Someone apparently landed on his leg.
It's the running Cleveland curse joke about the star free agent tripping over his shoelaces on the way to his very first practice and breaking his ankle, but it's come to life.
The good news, relatively speaking, from Cleveland.com: early reports have medical staffers hypothesizing about an injured patellar tendon. It's good news in that it's not a ligament they appeared to be worried about. Ligament damage means reconstucting the knee. Tendon damage is still serious, but the surgery probably would not be as involved and would require a shorter recovery time.
We likely won't know anything for certain until the MRI results hit the airwaves. In the meantime, we are left to imagine the various scenarios.
Bentley tweaked something in the knee but did no structural damage. No surgery is required, the pain subsides quickly, but as a precaution, the Browns hold him out of action for a while. He might miss the first two preseason games regardless of how he feels. No matter how minor the actual injury is, it is still going to cut into his preparation time for the season. Even if he can suit up for the Sept. 10 opener, he will probably still be playing catch-up both in his conditioning and understanding of the offensive schemes. Any way you slice this, it is going to cut into his season.
Bentley did damage that requires a less-severe arthroscopic procedure. In that case, he might be looking at a four-to-six week recovery time. He'd return in the first quarter of the season, but it would be like starting on the first day of camp all over again. Still, he'd be on the field for most of the season and hopefully caught up and playing well by November and December.
Really bad scenario
A total rupture of the patellar tendon. Doctors have to cut on the knee to repair the damage, almost certainly wiping out his 2006 season. But it's still not major structural damage that could require a year or more to recover from. With proper rehab, he would be good to go in 2007.
Start drinking right now
MRI results show he ruptured one or more ligaments in the knee. Reconstructive surgery is required. Bentley is on the mend for a year, and is required to wear a bulky brace next season. His mobility is compromised and he suddenly slips from Pro Bowler to worse than Jeff Faine. The Browns can no longer build an offensive line around him.