No shoulder surgery for Mark Sanchez

Updated: February 4, 2011, 11:56 AM ET
By Rich Cimini | ESPNNewYork.com

Sanchez
Sanchez
GRAPEVINE, Texas -- Mark Sanchez ended several weeks of speculation about his injured throwing shoulder, delivering a final verdict Thursday night -- no surgery.

The New York Jets quarterback, who underwent an MRI exam the day after the AFC Championship Game, said he received the news this week from Jets doctor Ken Montgomery, who consulted with shoulder specialists.

Sanchez said he was "absolutely" relieved to hear the news; the last thing he wanted was another offseason of rehabilitation. A year ago, he spent most of the offseason rehabbing from knee surgery.

"They were just really pleased with the way things have healed," Sanchez told five reporters before a promotional appearance at a resort hotel. "The swelling and bruising type stuff is gone, so they're really happy about that. ... That's good news."

Sanchez is planning to have one more shoulder exam with the team doctor before March 3, the day before a possible lockout would begin. In the meantime, he said the doctors prescribed "active rest," meaning a regimen of rehab exercises and stretching. He threw lightly earlier this week.

"[Montgomery] said it's not going to be a sit-around-and-see-how-you-feel-in-August-type thing," said Sanchez, relaxed and in good spirits. "I said of course not. I'm committed to the team, number one. I'll do everything I can mentally and physically to be ready to play, and I know I will."

Sanchez hurt his shoulder Dec. 19 at Pittsburgh, although he never missed a play. He underwent an MRI exam the following day. For the remainder of the season, the team referred to it as a "sore" shoulder.

Sanchez battled through the injury for the next five games, including three postseason starts. He admitted "it was painful, but nothing I couldn't handle." He was limited in practice, but he actually played well with the injury. He said he didn't take any painkilling injections.

With a possible lockout looming, Sanchez said he will look to organize informal workouts with teammates, perhaps a reprisal of the "Jets West" camp he hosted last offseason near his home in Southern California.

Sanchez arrived in the North Texas area for a whirlwind of pre-Super Bowl activities. He admitted it was weird to be so close to the Super Bowl site after falling one game short. He issued a quasi-guarantee for 2011.

"We expect to be right where we were, and one game further," he said, adding, "It was weird, just seeing the Super Bowl logo everywhere, seeing the Steelers' logo. It's like, 'Man, we were so close.'"

Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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