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Dr. Andrews says Brady getting better

October 24, 2008|Sam Farmer | Farmer is a Times staff writer.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has had three surgeries on his injured left knee, the last two in recent weeks to battle a rare infection stemming from the repair of two torn ligaments.

According to a renowned orthopedist who was consulted by Brady's surgeon, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, the quarterback appears to be responding to antibiotics and doctors are confident his recovery timetable for his ligament graft has not been compromised.

"What I gather from talking to Neal today is that Tom's getting better, and what has been done is getting him well," said Dr. James Andrews, widely regarded as the country's pre-eminent sports orthopedist.

"Optimistically, once you get this under control and you can save that graft and win the infection battle -- which apparently from what I gather he is winning -- once the healing process catches back up, it really doesn't set him behind to any degree relative to the overall healing process. The main thing is to save the graft."

The surgeries were performed in L.A. by ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic. When the infection appeared, ElAttrache consulted with Andrews, whose patients have included Peyton Manning and Michael Jordan. Andrews has a clinic in Birmingham, Ala.

"Neal called me in confidence to run this problem by me to see what I thought," Andrews said by phone. "We went over that, one, he should be aggressive about going back in, don't wait on it, don't let [the infection] continue to declare itself. Get it washed out and scope it. And I said he'd probably have to re-scope it several more times to make sure he got it under control."

ESPN, citing unnamed sources, reported the Patriots were upset because they wanted Brady's surgery done by doctors of their choosing. The club denied the report.

Likewise, Andrews said Brady made the right decision in selecting ElAttrache. "[Neal is] very knowledgeable and as good a decision maker in taking care of athletic injuries -- including complications -- as anyone in the world."

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sam.farmer@latimes.com

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