By Sheila Dwyer, Knee1 Staff
October 4, 2001
Jamal Anderson of the Atlanta Falcons is ready to get back to football after his second major knee surgery in three years.
“I want to be very, very clear when I say this: I am not retiring from football,” Anderson told the Associated Press on October 3rd. “Any person, any teammate or any coach … who would predict such a thing either never knew me or clearly never understood my will, my passion, my desire and my drive to succeed and be the best.”
Anderson was sidelined for the majority of the 1999 season with a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee. This past Sunday, he tore the ACL in his left knee during the Falcons’ 34-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
Anderson did not speak publicly about his injury until the middle of the week, saying on Wednesday that he needed time to compose himself.
“I just didn’t know what to say,” Anderson said. “I kind of just went into a little hole just to think about things that I was going to do.”
Rumors had circulated that his latest injury would end Anderson’s career. Historically, very few running backs have returned to the field after two major knee surgeries. But Anderson is keeping a positive outlook, saying he will be at training camp next summer with the Falcons or another team.
“I have no expectations that the Falcons are going to pay me this large a salary or keep me around,” Anderson said. “They have decisions to make just as well as I have decisions to make. Wherever I play next year, I’m going to play well.”
In 1999, the Falcons suffered the loss of Anderson, finishing the season with a 5-11 record. The team had reached the Super Bowl the previous season.
Photo courtesy of www.nfl.com