Wiley Faces Surgery

San Diego Chargers defensive end Marcellus Wiley will undergo surgery next week to repair a torn abdominal muscle that contributed to his lowest sack total in three years as a starter. The injury occurred at the same time as his bilateral groin strain in Denver. After trying to heal it naturally he will take the next step with the surgery.

"We tried rest and yoga and rehab, but we weren't getting the improvement we were looking for," Wiley said last night. "We were treating the symptoms and not really the problem. So this should get me back to 100 percent. It was good to hear that some of my symptoms are classic hernia signs."

The injury contributed to Wiley's decline in sack total from 13 in 2001 down to 6 in 2002. With an abdominal injury he was unable to generate the necessary push along the defensive line to be effective.

"We found that my first abdominal-area injury happened my third year in Buffalo, when I was backing up Bruce Smith," said Wiley, who concluded his sixth pro season. "I pulled it in training camp, and it probably never healed the way it needed to. Then came the groin strains and the hip flexors.

"People looked at me funny last year when I said I strained both groin muscles, but what happened was that the groin and the hip couldn't handle the strain and the intensity that was required to compensate for the abdominal (area)."

"My thing is, just get me to where I can be normal and I'll take care of the rest," Wiley said. "Up until now, we had been kind of kicking the bumper when I wanted to get at the engine. We finally reached the point where all the therapy and prevention failed."

The recovery period is expected to last six weeks, he should be ready to go when training camp opens in July.

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