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ESPN on Gardner......


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Redskins' officials are far more worried about the health of Daryl Gardener than they are letting on, and so are some people close to the mammoth defensive tackle. While the team continues to suggest that they have received encouraging reports about Gardener's balky back, he had to have an epidural injection last week, and no one will predict when he will get back on the field. The 'Skins have already lost Santana Dotson (Achilles tendon) for the entire season and are thin at tackle. There are some folks at Redskins Park who wonder if Gardener will play at all this season. If he doesn't, it will reduce the effectiveness of fellow starting tackle Dan Wilkinson, and possibly the effectiveness of the team's linebackers, too.

Anybody got any "happier" info on this?!


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I do not know the severity or specifics about Gardners injury, however, as someone with a history of back problems due to an injured disc in the military (I've had the same procedure he has had, epidural steroids, many times), I wouldn't count on him playing consitently, if at all, ever again. I know my back has never been the same.

I'm sorry to be negative, I know your looking for positive news.

He is a true athlete and I don't consider myself in that category (so it's a little bit of apples and oranges), but God (don't believe in one, but ya never know I guess) help him and the Skins if he has any thing similar to what I have had.

In my experience, back problems are forever :(

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that's why having an effective rotation is so important. Bruce Smith and Gardener are going to have to be spotted this season to be effective.

I wonder, though, if Gardener's problem with back spasms relates to the fact that after the surgery the muscles are still weak and until he is able to rehab himself to strengthen his back (which I think is one of the things the Dolphins were saying he wasn't doing in the offseason) he is going to suffer these post-game and post-collision setbacks.

I agree that it is rare that a person gets back to 100% after two serious surgeries like Daryl had.

But the problem here doesn't seem to be with a disc or the vertebra as with the muscles.

Muscles take time but they do respond to movement, aka therapy.

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A bad back is a tricky thing to rely on. We can't rely on Gardner. We never could. When we got him we had Dotson and could hope for 20-30 good plays a game on average. When Dotson went down I hoped for 30-40. I still think you'll get some positive play from Gardener. I just think it may be two whole games then none for three, then three then off, then one then off two, etc.

Instead of being able to play week-in and week-out as a consistent 30 play guy, he may get all his plays in bunches and the have to rest. Not ideal. Still beneficial at the cost though.

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