METAIRIE, La. ― Pierre Thomas didn’t necessarily waltz through the Saints’ locker room at the team’s Airline Drive facility Thursday.
It was more laborious than that, what with the running back using crutches to make his way from one door to another.
Don’t fret the metallic walking aids, Thomas said. He could still walk without them and jog if pressed.
But as for when he’ll return, well, that’s another subject.
“I don’t know,” Thomas said. “I don’t know how far along I am. I don’t know what’s going to happen. All I’m hoping and praying for is my ankle to get a lot better.”
He added, “I really don’t know what’s the whole problem. Everybody keeps saying it’s a sprain or maybe a little tear there. I don’t know for sure if that’s true. I’m hearing so many different stories. I don’t know what to believe.”
Head Coach Sean Payton said the fourth-year running back has seen three doctors, including a local foot and ankle specialist, to help decipher what’s wrong with the left ankle of the team’s leading returning rusher.
“I think the feeling from all sides was to get the weight off of it here – the swelling has gone down – and see if we can get the pain to calm down as well,” Payton said.
Still, information on the injury has been hard to come by. A week after Thomas was injured in New Orleans’ 27-24 Sept. 26 loss, Payton hinted that the running back could be back quickly.
On Oct. 1, Payton talked about the return at that time of Thomas and Roman Harper, “From both he and Roman I’m going to have to see some positive signs to feel comfortable and yet I’m hopeful based on the fact that they got some work today. They were limited but they got work today and both of them are progressing quickly, but both of them will be game-time decisions.”
Payton said Thursday that he won’t rule out surgery, though he added that that option has never been laid out as one to take.
Nearly five weeks after the injury, though, Thomas was cryptic about what he has been told about the injury.
When asked about whether there was disagreement among the doctors who have seen him, he said he didn’t know.
“That’s something the doctors would have to tell you,” Thomas said. “I’m just being told what to do, what I should do. I’m listening to what they’re telling me and going from there. I’m just hoping my ankle could get a lot better so I can go out there on this field.
“Like I told you earlier, I’m upset.”