Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller went down with a devastating knee injury in Week 8 of the 2017 NFL season against the New Orleans Saints.
The injury was so severe that doctors had to save his leg.
After what was a nightmare situation, and one that consisted of eight surgeries, Miller returned to Halas Hall.
According to ESPN, “Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller made an emotional return to the team facility on Monday, six weeks after undergoing emergency vascular surgery to save his left leg.”
“It was very real,” Miller said, when asked about the threat of amputation. “A couple wrong turns away from actually happening. I had a ton of care, a lot of people helping me out through that entire process. But we were a couple minutes away from having that be real. Thankfully, we were able to avoid it and we didn’t really get into where I had stuff that was starting to die off or anything. We were able to save pretty much everything. So I’m very thankful that happened.”
Added Miller: “I remember, before I got into the emergency surgery, the last thing I was telling the doctors was, ‘Please, save my leg!’ Because I knew that something wasn’t quite right just in the way my leg was feeling and the way it was filling up. I knew we had issues.”
While everyone would love to see Miller back on the football field in the near future, the most important thing was saving his leg.
Returning to the Bears’ facility had to be a very emotional experience for the 33-year-old, and everyone else involved with the team. It was the first return for Miller since Oct. 29.
More from the ESPN article:
“I haven’t really talked about a timeline,” Miller said. “When am I going to be able to get off crutches? When do I start walking? When do you get off the brace? I think I’ll probably just take all that and rehab as it comes. I haven’t asked many questions as far as down-the-road-type things. I’m kind of just taking this day by day, the steps and the process of going through surgery, rehabbing.”
“But vascular-wise, artery’s as strong if not stronger than it ever was,” he added. “… The risk of reinjuring that is the risk that I had of doing it in the first place. I don’t know what the percentage is. I don’t imagine it’s very high.”
Miller, 33, was noncommittal about his football career.
“I haven’t really thought much of football from now on,” Miller said. “You know what I mean? I haven’t got to that point. For me right now, it’s just getting this right, getting healed up and when that point comes, make a decision. Do I want to play football? What do you think? I’ve been a football player my whole life. I would love to play football. We’ll cross that road when it’s time.”
Whether Miller is cleared — and decides — to play football again or not, we hope he has a speedy and healthy recovery.