Crawford: Abdominal surgery ‘a shot in dark |

Crawford: Abdominal surgery ‘a shot in dark

Steve Yingling

Only hours after the first surgery of his life Monday, Miami Dolphins linebacker Mike Crawford was skeptical that surgeons solved his source of pain.

“We’re in the dark on this one. It’s not something like a torn ACL that you know can be corrected with surgery. Hopefully this surgery is going to help me out, but they don’t know. I don’t think they’re 100 percent sure this is going to be the cure. A lot of doctors and trainers have been trying to figure out what’s wrong with me and hopefully this does the thing,” said Crawford by phone Monday evening from his home in Davie, Fla.

Crawford, a 1992 graduate of George Whittell High and former star at the University of Nevada, underwent a 90-minute surgery to repair a abdominal muscle tear at a Coral Gables, Fla., hospital Monday. Doctors originally believed the source of Crawford’s pain was a stress fracture to his pelvis. The pain became increasingly uncomfortable for Crawford after a mid-May weight lifting workout, requiring inactivity and eventually surgery.

But the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Crawford now says he played most of last season in pain.

“That’s the thing that’s most frustrating … playing when you’re hurt you don’t get to perform at your best,” said the 1997 sixth-round draft choice. “It’s tough to be out of training camp, but I’m trying not to get down. I know I can play in this league. I’m going to be patient and deal with this injury and then I’m going to figure out how to become a star in this league.”

Friends and family softened Crawford’s day in the operating room. Crawford’s mother, Mary, flew to Coral Gables for the surgery and his brother, Nick, phoned him afterward.

Upon returning home to Davie late Monday, an ex-Wolverine was waiting for him. Jevon Hall, who played for Truckee in 1991 when Whittell pulled off a stunning upset in the epic “Snow Bowl,” now rooms with his ex-rival.

“He was the one guy out there with nothing covering his belly and it was snowing, it was freezing and there were all kids of puddles. He was a lunatic,” Crawford recalled. “Now he’s a great guy and he’s taking care of me.”

For the next three weeks doctors recommend that Crawford restrict his physical activity to walking. “After that, I don’t know,” he said.

Miami coach Jimmy Johnson placed Crawford on the physically unable to perform list before training camp opened last month. He’s scheduled to join the active roster prior to the Dolphins’ seventh game Oct. 25 against New England.

“I have plenty of time to come back. This isn’t something that’s going to outlast that. I just have to get better and try and come back in the middle of the season and help the team.”

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