Bradley Handwerger / Eyewitness Sports
METAIRIE, La. ― With no discernable advantage left to grab with the Saints now out of the NFL’s annual postseason tournament, head coach Sean Payton finally opened up a bit on some of the injuries that hammered the team at the end of the season.
And that includes the much-hyped, little-discussed, not-a-lot-known injury to Drew Brees’ left knee.
Simply put, Brees is not scheduled to have any surgery to correct any knee ailment this offseason, Payton said.
“No,” he said with a grin before adding, “ask me that question again.”
When the reporter obliged and again asked if Brees would need surgery on either knee, Payton again said, “No. Either knee.”
Brees, though, wasn’t the only player Payton was asked to clear up their offseason status.
Free safety Malcolm Jenkins missed the playoff loss to Seattle and most of the regular season finale against Tampa Bay with an undisclosed knee injury. Payton said Monday that, at this point, surgery might not be needed.
“I think with Malcolm we’re just going to continue to monitor his knee,” Payton said. “There’s some swelling. Fortunately for us, the news has been good. What we’ll do is look closely in the next couple of weeks. We’ll keep paying attention to the swelling in his knee.
“I’d be ahead of myself if I said we’re going to scope it because I think there’s a good chance nothing will have to be dome. We’ll just continue the rehab.”
Tight end Jimmy Graham injured his ankle against Tampa Bay on Jan. 2 and Payton said he will only be required to do rehabilitation on the ankle and no surgery is required.
As for running back Pierre Thomas, the prognosis isn’t so clear. Thomas originally injured his ankle on Sept. 26 at the end of the game against Atlanta. He went on to miss nine straight games before returning against St. Louis on Dec. 12.
But Thomas reinjured the same left ankle the Friday before the home finale against Tampa Bay and never returned. Now he’ll go back to foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C.
“He’s going to see Dr. Anderson, who is probably one of the best, if not the best foot and ankle guy and someone that’s done a lot of work and treated our players,” Payton said. “He’s also had a chance to see Pierre earlier in the year. We’ll go from there.”
Running back Chris Ivory, meanwhile, is set to have a Lisfranc surgery in the week with Anderson.
Payton said running back Reggie Bush bruised the area of his right fibula that he broke in September on Saturday against Seattle and would have missed two to three weeks had the Saints remained in the playoffs.
Running back Julius Jones and defensive end/linebacker Junior Galette both sustained mild concussions against the Seahawks
And defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove’s status is yet to be determined, Payton said. Hargrove missed the final four games, including the playoff loss, with a knee injury that happened on a kickoff in the Dec. 12 game against St. Louis.