Just less than a week after undergoing arthroscopic surgery in his left knee, Green Bay Packers left tackle David Bakhtiari told the media on Friday that he will miss the remainder of the season. Bakhtiari spoke in great detail with the media on Friday, talking about this setback and his road to recovery from the initial ACL tear in 2020.
Packers’ Bakhtiari Explains Setbacks
According to Bakhtiari, the initial injury was an ACL tear and a partial tear of his lateral meniscus. In 2021, he had surgery to repair the ACL and clear out parts of his meniscus, which he said was about 10 to 15 percent of the overall piece of cartilage in his knee.
At some point in the near future, Bak will have another arthroscopic surgery that’s season-ending but hopefully will put an end to this long, painful journey to recovery, and make him the player he used to be before the injury.
“The human side of it, it took a lot of stress, a lot of time on my end,” said Bakhtiari. “But the clarity is to know that we’re fine, we finally know what the problem is. And we can address the problem. That’s the, I guess, glass-half-full-part of the scenario.”
The actual problem wasn’t his ACL tear and apparently hasn’t been. The issue? The cartilage and lack of smoothness on his femur. Bakhtiari told the media it’s like sandpaper where the cartilage and bone rub, which causes fluid to build up. He declined to tell media when the fifth surgery would happen, and what exact procedure he would be getting done.
“It’s been, for all of us, myself included, trying to figure out if is this an issue that needs to be addressed or no?” Bakhtiari said. “We’re at a point that it’s evident that that’s the issue, and it’s unfortunate.”
Bakhtiari did play in the Week 1 win against Chicago, performing like the Bak we know, but when he walked off that field, he didn’t realize that would be the last time he would do that this season.
Doctors knew that there was damage to the femoral condyles, the two rounded parts at the end of the femur, but when Bakhtiari first sustained the ACL injury, there was no indication that those would be a problem moving forward.
This past offseason, he was hopeful that the knee problems were behind him as for the first time in two years he didn’t need an offseason surgery to fix a problem. He was able to work out full-time and fully address the atrophy that occurred in his leg while recovering from three surgeries.
Bakhtiari said that it became more clear to the doctors that the condyles were the problem, as they had cleaned out all the other things that could’ve been causing his symptoms. He also mentioned that it was necessary to have all these procedures done to address other problems because at first, there was no proof that the condyles were the ones causing pain and fluid buildup.
The media asked him why would he go through the lengthy rehab process again, and his response tells you how dedicated he is to this sport.
“Because I’m different,” Bakhtiari said. “I have an unparalleled work ethic. I’m stubborn as **** and I’m not gonna let someone else write my story. This is me just taking control of what I need to do. When I want to look back, do I want to look at the guy who got injured and was like, ah, that’s good enough? If that’s not me, then the future, older me is gonna be (ticked) at the younger me.”
Will Bakhtiari play with the Packers next year? Or at all?
“I can only control what I can control,” he said. “I think making sure I attack the rehab, win the day, take the bites out of that elephant, finish the elephant, and then decide and see.”
Bakhtiari is one of the best offensive linemen of our time. It’s unfortunate that injuries like this occur because he was looking at being a future Pro Football Hall of Famer. We don’t know the timeline of Bakhtiari’s full recovery, or if he’ll ever be 100% again.
While he’s out for the rest of the season, the hope from Bakhtiari is that he’s ready to go for next season’s training camp. Once he has this fifth procedure done, the recovery can take some time, but he’s hopeful that it’ll be less than that 10-month mark.
“I know I can still play and I can still play at a high level and I want to give that to an organization,” said Bakhtiari. “And to me, I think the greatest achievement other than the personal financial freedom that this game gives is to win a Super Bowl. So that one I would love to have, and that does definitely drive me.”
The full 35-minute interview is linked below.