SAN DIEGO — Running back Melvin Gordon participated on the field in the Chargers‘ offseason program on Monday, and told reporters he expects to be fully healthy by the start of training camp in the end of July.
A source confirmed that Gordon had microfracture knee surgery in January, performed by noted orthopedic specialist James Andrews. Recovery time from the procedure is typically four to six months.
“No question, I’ll definitely be ready for training camp,” Gordon said. “I’m not even worried about that.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune first reported the surgery.
Gordon was injured during the second quarter of San Diego’s final home game of the 2015 season on Dec. 20 against the Miami Dolphins, taking a blow to his left knee during a run. Gordon was placed on injured reserve, finishing his rookie season with 641 rushing yards on 184 carries, averaging 3.5 yards per carry. He also totaled 33 receptions for 192 yards.
Gordon is not fully healthy and did not participate in all of the drills with the offense on Monday. Gordon said he has been running in the pool and on an anti-gravity treadmill to take some of the stress off of his knee as he recovers from surgery.
“I’m getting better,” Gordon said. “I’m not where I want to be right now, but I think I’m ahead of schedule. I’m sprinting pretty good, cutting. I try to do a little more every day. The trainers kind of push me to do a little bit more every day, so I can be ready.”
Microfracture surgery is a procedure where tiny incisions are made in the damaged cartilage to stimulate new tissue development. NFL players who recently underwent the surgery include Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce in October 2013 and Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in January 2015. Both players had successful returns to the field.
The Chargers expect Gordon to make a full recovery, which is one of the reasons they did not select a running back in this year’s draft or sign one in free agency.
The Chargers also signed University of Houston running back Kenneth Farrow and Chris Swain out of Navy as undrafted rookie free agents.