Moorehead has 'clean-up' surgery on shoulders

Heading into his fifth and final season at Alabama, Kindal Moorehead has played with--and through--just about every type injury you can imagine. But after tolerating soreness in both shoulders for the last couple of years, he and the doctors decided to do something about it. <br><br>Kindal was just tired of the pain," Tide Head Football Trainer Rodney Brown said. "Tired of the soreness and tired of living with it."

Sore shoulders are nothing new to football, and linemen especially can suffer from wear and tear on their joints. Brown explained; "Kindal has had two pretty good AC (shoulder) joint sprains. It's football, and with the continued pounding some guys will develop some arthritic changes in that AC joint. Kindal has. The problem was confirmed on x-ray."

From his starting slot at left defensive end, Moorehead has been an anchor of the Bama D-Line throughout his career.

Moorehead put up with chronically sore shoulders for most of 2001. "We padded him and treated him all during the season," Brown said. "But when the season ended we did arthroscopic surgery on both shoulders."

"The procedure is called a distal-clavical resection, also known as a Mumford Procedure," Brown continued. "It's done with an arthroscope. What you do is clean out the AC joint, and you shave back a little bit of his clavical at the distal (outside) end of the collar bone."

Obviously, the decision to operate should never be taken lightly. But athletes undergoing this type procedure almost always end up significantly better off than before. "I have never seen an athlete have one of these done who didn't do great," Brown said. "(John David) Phillips, the quarterback, had it done on his throwing arm, and he came back with his throwing arm as strong as ever."

Modern rehab techniques begin movement and exercise almost immediately, to minimize any stiffness in the joint. Brown explained; "He's been rehabbing for the last couple of weeks. He's doing fine. We anticipate him being ready to go for spring ball."

One of Moorehead's goals this winter is to gain strength in the weight room, preparing for his senior year and hopefully a shot at professional football. "Early on it will set him back in the weight room, because he's just got to catch up," Brown acknowledged. "But he'll get all his strength back. He's getting a little stronger every day.

"He started off doing mostly machine work on the hammer machines in the weight room. And he did other exercises with dumbbells and rubber tubing."

After three seasons in Crimson, Moorehead has 45 combined sacks/TFLs--good enough for third on the Alabama all-time list. His 29 career stops behind the line of scrimmage is first on that list, and his 16 career sacks have him tied for fifth.

Moorehead's goal of gaining strength in the weight room will be delayed a bit. But with the soreness in his shoulders eliminated, he'll be able to make more long-term progress.

"Once he got the joint calmed down and the soreness gone, Kindal is regaining his strength rather rapidly," Brown said. "When he moves to the free weights, we'll take that as he can tolerate it. Usually bench press and incline bench press are two of the lighter exercises you can do pain free. Once he moves to those, his poundages will come back up."

Brown is in and out of the weight room on a daily basis, conferring with Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Ben Pollard. And the two men are working around the shoulder soreness to continue Moorehead's conditioning. "Until he gets there, what you do is substitute other exercises for those particular lifts," Brown explained. "Kindal won't be doing as well on the lifts that they test on (bench press, incline bench press, squat and hang clean), but he'll be gaining strength. He'll be doing other exercises that don't put the stress on his shoulder joints."

Moorehead's best game last season was against Arkansas, when the Memphis native garnered six tackles, including two and a half sacks for a combined loss of 23 yards. A sprained knee (MCL) kept him out of the LSU game, the only contest he missed as a junior. Moorehead sat out the entire 2000 season, after tearing his Achilles tendon before the first game.

"His Achilles (tendon) and MCL are both fine," Brown said.

Spring practice begins March 7, now less than a month away. "He should be good to go for spring ball, but we know Kindal can play," Brown said. "It's not where he has to go out there and prove himself. So if he has periods of soreness, we can back off.

"We're going to let him play it by ear, but I anticipate Kindal being able to go in the spring."


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