Flanagan: Surgery is not an option

The tendinitis that pained center Mike Flanagan throughout training camp is going to pain him and the Packers throughout the season.

After being unable to finish the first two games of the season, Flanagan will be limited in practice this week to keep his ailing left knee feeling as good as possible heading into Sunday's game on the artificial turf of Indianapolis.

Flanagan has been hobbled by tendinitis since June. The pain is a constant source of frustration for Flanagan, though he says surgery is "not an option until the season's over."

The latest reason for anguish came early Sunday against the Bears. Flanagan banged the knee, and by the waning moments of the fourth quarter, Flanagan had trouble just getting off the field.

"It took me 10 minutes just to get across the field," Flanagan said.

A game on the artificial turf of the RCA Dome obviously won't be therapeutic. While grass is forgiving, playing in a dome is like playing on the living room floor.

"It's something I'm going to have to worry about every week whether it's turf, grass, asphalt," Flanagan said.

To that end, Packers coach Mike Sherman will limit Flanagan's practice snaps.

"It probably will bother him most of the year," Sherman said Monday. "He's playing with it right now, but (we'll) figure out a way to rest him maybe a little bit more at the beginning of the week. Probably going to let him avoid the heavy Wednesdays that we have and practice him more on Thursdays and moderate on Fridays. But we'll keep an eye on him."

The practice limitations aren't exactly putting a smile on Flanagan's face, especially considering he missed most of training camp. Flanagan, a Pro Bowl performer, is hardly up to full speed because of all the missed practice time.

"I have a hard time with that — I want to be out there everyday with my guys — but sometimes that may not be the best thing to do."

With an attitude like that, surgery during the season clearly isn't an option.

"No way. No way. Not even an option," Flanagan said. "Honestly. Unless I'm so ineffective that I can't play. But that's not going to happen. I'm not going to let it. Whatever I have to do to play, I'm going to do. I may not be the best guy in the league this year, but I'm going to be one of them. You do what you've got to do."

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