Deshaun Watson Surgery: How Deshaun Watson is recovering from his ACL injury

Deshaun Watson, the standout quarterback for the Houston Texans, faced a significant setback on November 2, 2023, when he sustained a severe injury during a practice session. The injury involved the tearing of his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee, a crucial ligament for knee joint stability. Watson underwent a successful surgery on November 8, 2023, to address the torn ACL, marking the beginning of his rehabilitation journey. Here are the details concerning his injury, the surgical procedure, and the subsequent recovery plan:

What Caused Watson’s Injury?

Watson’s injury occurred in a non-contact drill while executing a read-option play. Attempting to make a directional cut, he planted his right foot, causing his knee to buckle, leading to his collapse. Swiftly taken to the locker room, an MRI confirmed the torn ACL diagnosis. Notably, Watson had previously recovered from a torn ACL in his left knee in 2014 while playing for Clemson University.

How Was Watson’s Surgery Performed?

Dr. Walter Lowe, the Texans’ team physician and a renowned orthopedic surgeon, conducted Watson’s surgery. The procedure involved utilizing a graft from Watson’s patellar tendon, connecting the kneecap to the shinbone, to replace the damaged ACL. The surgery, performed arthroscopically, involved small incisions and a camera for guidance, lasting approximately two hours, with Dr. Lowe declaring it a success.

What Is Watson’s Recovery Plan?

Watson’s recovery plan follows a four-phase protocol designed to gradually restore knee function and strength:

Phase 1 (First Two Weeks):

Focuses on reducing swelling and pain, restoring range of motion, and preventing blood clots. Watson wears a brace, uses crutches, and engages in gentle exercises.

Phase 2 (Next Six Weeks):

Concentrates on increasing knee strength and stability, improving balance and coordination. Watson gradually walks without crutches, incorporates more advanced exercises such as leg presses and squats.

Phase 3 (Following Three Months):

Targets agility, speed, and sport-specific activities. Involves running on a treadmill, progressing to field running, plyometric exercises, and cutting and pivoting drills.

Phase 4 (Six Months After Surgery):

Focuses on returning to full sports participation, including team practices and functional tests to assess readiness. Watson wears protective gear to prevent re-injury.


Deshaun Watson, a highly skilled NFL player, faced a significant setback with his injury, impacting the Texans and their fanbase. Nevertheless, Watson’s resilience and determination, coupled with strong support, position him for a full recovery and a return to the field in anticipation of the 2024 season, with hopes of leading the Texans to success.

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