Gregg out for season, to have knee surgery

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens nose guard Kelly Gregg will undergo season-ending microfracture surgery on his left knee today, according to his agent. Gregg's agent, Jack Bechta, confirmed the impending surgery Monday night after first announcing the development on his blog.

The procedure will likely sideline the veteran defensive lineman until next May or June and will be performed by Dr. James Andrews, a renowned orthopedic surgeon.

Bechta said that the knee simply wasn't responding to treatment.

The Ravens had no immediate comment.

Gregg, 31, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in early August after getting hurt when he reported to training camp in late July. He has been dealing with a hole in his cartilage that has caused significant pain, swelling and discomfort.

Microfracture surgery is a surgical technique that creates tiny fractures in the underlying bone. This causes new cartilage to develop from a so-called super-clot. Several professional athletes, including NBA players Greg Oden and Amare Stoudemire, have had the surgery, which is regarded as minimally invasive and has a relatively short recovery time.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said last week that the team was awaiting second opinions from outside doctors after sending out Gregg's MRI results.

"It's a very unusual injury from what I'm told," Harbaugh said.

Gregg had been receiving cortisone shots to promote the healing process as well as injecting a fluid that simulates the natural cartilage in the knee. When Gregg underwent surgery, they removed scar tissue from his knee and smoothed out a groove in the bone.

"I had a setback a couple of weeks ago, but I'm working toward coming back," Gregg said recently. "I took some injections and tried everything. There's really not much else you can do. They shut me down last week. It's a slow process. I've never dealt with anything like this."

Until this year, Gregg hadn't missed a game since 2004. Justin Bannan is starting in Gregg's place and intercepted a pass in the Ravens' 13-10 loss Sunday to the Tennessee Titans.

Gregg has 398 tackles since 2002, the most of any interior defensive lineman during that span.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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