The diagnosis was communicated to Chad, to his family and to others, and we recommended a trial of rehabilitation to see how he would do; understanding that if at any point he had too much discomfort or too much weakness, that shoulder would be operated on almost immediately. But, in fact, he did very well with his rehabilitation. Chad went for a second opinion. He went to see Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Alabama. James is a well-known shoulder specialist. He's had a lot of experience. Particularly on Major League Baseball pitchers, and we respect and listen to Dr. Andrews' opinion, which, in fact, was exactly the same as ours.
He returned to play, and as you know and speculated, there was some issue as to whether Chad was having some pain or discomfort or weakness with that shoulder. We did not allow him to return to play until we were satisfied that he was strong enough and pain-free enough to be able to return to play with minimal risk.
Was there risk with him returning to play? Minimal. The area of his cuff was torn, was torn; the rest of his cuff looked absolutely fine. Could it be that he re-injured, that cuff? Of course he could have. It's a contact sport, the same way that there's a risk that once he returns, he could injure it again, as well. But the odds of that happening are the same as any other quarterback playing in the National Football League who injures their shoulder can have.
When he was allowed to return to play, not only we felt but Chad felt that the risk was, again, minimum. He returned to play, and, in fact, felt well. The speculation about him being weak and having discomfort was speculation. Was there some objective evidence of the weakness? Not the way we can measure it during a medical examination or in a training room. But, in fact, did he have some weakness when he threw the ball? Only Chad could answer that question and Chad told us no.
The rehabilitation continued, and as Chad has said publicly, and to us, as well, behind closed doors, that as the season progressed, his shoulder felt better and better. And, in fact, by the last two games of the season, his shoulder felt actually quite well.
An MRI was done after we lost the game in Pittsburgh, not because he had any more pain or any more negative findings on his physical examination, but, in fact, just to corroborate the anatomical findings that we found when we did his original MRI; and, in fact, it corroborated it. There was no additional damage. It corroborated the initial tear that he had. And as we had talked about then and as we've talked about now, the shoulder will be operated on.
The shoulder will be operated on shortly after the Super Bowl. Chad had some personal things to take care of between now and then. The operation will be done by Dr. Andrews. Dr. Andrews was selected by Chad, again, the players have the right to pick the surgeon that they want to operate on it. We respect Chad's decision. Dr. Andrews has a lot of experience in doing these types of surgery, particularly on pitchers. This is an unusual injury for a professional quarterback in the National Football League, and there is not a lot of experience with this type of traumatic injury in a quarterback in the National Football League.
Going back to our experiences and Dr. Andrews, as well, we are optimistic that Chad will do absolutely fine, and we are optimistic that, in fact, he will be ready for training camp. Given that it is surgery, there are black holes with any type of surgery. We will have to wait and see.
All of his rehabilitation will be done here. Dr. Montgomery and Dr. Andrews will continue to collaborate as his rehabilitation continues. His return to play will be a joint decision amongst all of us, not only myself, but Dr. Montgomery, Dr. Andrews, Coach Edwards, Terry Bradway, Chad's family, Chad's agent, as is usual amongst as to how we do things regarding healthcare matters. Everyone will be in the loop in terms of communication. And when Chad returns to play, it will be because we've all decided that he is ready to play.