On Tuesday, Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman announced that starting center Zach Shackelford had successful surgery on his ankle following multiple high ankle sprains.
The surgery went well, according to the head coach, and the team “hopes to have him back by the fall.”
Herman announced last week that Shackelford would miss the rest of the spring due to another ankle injury, which is presumably the same ankle that he sprained last year in preseason camp and then injured again against Iowa State. The injury against the Cyclones caused him to miss the second half of that contest and three other games — Kansas State, Kansas, and TCU.
Otherwise, Shackelford started every game for Texas as a true freshman after taking over that role at center virtually as soon as he stepped on campus as an early enrollee, days after flipping from Kansas State.
Now he’ll try to rehab his ankle after what was likely a Tightrope fixation for ankle syndesmosis, which “damages the soft tissue structures between the tibia and fibula and causes these bones to separate... The TightRope system anchors the ends of the tibia and fibula together with a braided polyethylene cord, rather than with a rigid surgical screw, to restore the original position of the bones and to allow for proper healing.”
Unfortunately, it sounds like the recovery time for this particular procedure could be four months or more, but the hope is clearly that Shackelford’s ankle will heal properly and no longer be so susceptible to repeated high ankle sprains.
In more unfortunate news, sophomore defensive lineman D’Andre Christmas is suffering from a sports hernia that will require surgery, likely in Philadelphia, following the Orange-White game.
The concern with the 6’2, 315-pound Christmas is that how well he remains in shape during that period of time, as defensive linemen, especially those well over 300 pounds, often struggle to keep from gaining weight during rehabilitation.
Since his quickness off the ball is such a key element of the Louisiana product’s skill set, suffering a setback in that regard has the potential to bury him on the depth chart this fall.