Tagged in: back surgery

Kansas City Chiefs tackle Mitchell Schwartz has back surgery, eyes healthy 2021 season

Chiefs right tackle Mitchell Schwartz is starting his offseason with a procedure.

Schwartz is undergoing surgery Wednesday after a back injury stripped him of 10 regular-season matches and the entire postseason. The ailment is the only one to hold Schwartz out of any games over his nine-year NFL career, offering an indication as to its severity.

In a social media post Wednesday before the operation, Schwartz said he anticipates returning for 2021, which could provide the first important step toward the Chiefs solving the offensive line woes that played a significant factor in the Super Bowl loss to Tampa Bay.

“I was hoping to recover enough to get back for the playoffs/Super Bowl, but that didn’t happen,” Schwartz wrote in his Tweet. “It’s time to address the issue. The recovery process isn’t too long, which is nice. Looking forward to a healthy 2021!” Schwartz, 31, has one year left on a contract that will pay him nearly $10 million.

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When healthy, he has been one of the game’s best right tackles — and before this season was one of its most reliable. In 2019, Schwartz did not allow a sack all season, according to Pro Football Focus.

He missed a snap during the 2019 season for the first time in his career but returned in the same game.

He attempted to play through this back injury in the 2020 season, starting in Buffalo before removing himself from the Week 6 contest. He never returned over the remainder of the season but put off surgery in hopes of a potential Super Bowl appearance.

The Chiefs could have used him. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes was pressured on 29 of his 56 dropbacks and scrambled 497 yards behind the line of scrimmage in an effort to buy more time. The Chiefs were on their third-string right tackle in the game.

Mike Remmers had filled in for Schwartz most of the season — and done so admirably — but when Eric Fisher injured his Achilles in the AFC Championship Game, Remmers moved to left tackle and guard Andrew Wylie kicked out to right tackle.

Both players struggled at their new spots versus the Buccaneers. Schwartz joined the Chiefs in 2016 in free agency, signing a five-year contract that made him one of the most-compensated right tackles at the time. He spent his first four seasons in Cleveland.

The Chiefs have won the AFC West division title every season Schwartz has been on the team.

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Back surgery sidelines starter James Paxton 3-4 months

New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton is expected to miss three to four months after undergoing back surgery on Wednesday.

The Yankees informed that Paxton underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy and had a peridiscal cyst removed, addressing pain that started last campaign. The surgery was performed by Dr. Andrew Dossett in Dallas.

Paxton left his final regular-season start, at Texas on Sept. 27, after one inning because of what the Yankees said was a tight left glute muscle. That ended the left-hander’s career-best streak of victories in 10 consecutive starts.

He was 1-0 with a 3.46 ERA in three postseason starts, allowing five runs in 13 innings. He made two starts versus the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series.

“He pitched extremely well, especially in Houston,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. “But when he started ramping up his winter program about four weeks or so ago, he started feeling symptoms again.”

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After he left that September start, Paxton was examined by Yankees head team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad and Rangers physician Dr. Keith Meister, and the pitcher received an injection of a painkiller. He was then examined in an offseason follow-up by Dossett, receiving a new round of injections, and was told to see how he felt in three weeks.

“It turned out clearly that that did not resolve the problem,” Cashman said, “so surgical intervention then was the last resort.”

Paxton, 31, went 15-6 with a 3.82 ERA in 29 starts last season, his first with the Yankees.

He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 campaign. The Yankees acquired Paxton last offseason in a trade with the Seattle Mariners.

In an injury-riddled season for the Yankees’ staff, Paxton helped lead New York to an AL East title in convincing fashion. He was 5-6 in July but started to reduce his percentage of fastballs and went on his streak. He agreed last month to a $12.5 million, one-year contract.

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