Francois out for season, but likely not career

By: Tiffany Lewis | WCTV Eyewitness News
September 4, 2017

TALLAHASSEE,Fla. (WCTV) -- Seth Gasser M.D. of the Florida Orthopedic Institute says the tearing of the patella tendon is rare, but curable.

The patella tendon is located directly below the knee cap, holding it to the shin.

Gasser compared the injury's recovery time to an ACL tear, but said the patella tear is far less common.

"I would say that each year I do about 100 ACL surgeries," Gasser said, "But patella surgeries, I do about 5."

Although the injury is more rare than the typical tear, he says it's not more serious.

"It's no worse than your common ACL or MCL tear. The recovery time is about the same. 7 to 10 months on average," Gasser said.

Gasser said that he has seen athletes in the past return to the field in as little as 6 months, but that's usually not the case.

FSU student Nicky Carnicelli was watching the game with friends Saturday night when he saw Francois go down.

"I thought it was ACL or something like that," Carnicelli said. "But I was surprised to hear it was patella."

Carnicelli is far too familiar with Francois's injury. Two years ago, he also tore his patella tendon.

"I stopped physical therapy at like six months. I continued biking, running, and it felt a lot better," Carnicelli said. "But with this surgery, it takes time. It takes about a year to a year and a half for all the pain to go away."

Carnicelli believes that with the extensive medical and training staff that Francois has available to him, he could definitely see him taking the field next year.

"I'm sure the physical therapy for Francois and from the Florida State faculty, they're gonna get him up and going again," Carnicelli said. "I mean, he is already getting surgery Tuesday. He will be on the road to recovery in no time."

The surgery regularly takes about an hour.

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