Three-Time Pro Bowl Center Could Miss 3-to-4 Weeks, Polian Says
INDIANAPOLIS – Center Jeff Saturday likely will return by regular season's end.
As for his teammate on the offensive line, Ryan Lilja, his return will take significantly longer, Colts President Bill Polian said Monday night.
Saturday, who sustained a calf strain in the Colts' victory in San Diego Sunday night, likely will miss 3-to-4 weeks, Polian said on his weekly radio show Monday night. Polian also said Lilja will not return this season because of a knee issue that has kept him out the entire season.
Polian said Saturday is a historically quick healer, which could speed his return.
"He might make it back sooner than that, but that's the conservative prognosis," Polian said of Saturday, a 10-year veteran who has started the last three Pro Bowls.
Lilja, a starter for the Colts the past four seasons, spent the first part of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a knee injury, returning to practice recently. Under NFL rules, the Colts had until Tuesday move Lilja to the active roster or return him to the PUP list, thereby ending his season.
Polian said Lilja will revert back to the PUP list Tuesday and undergo surgery to correct the issue in his knee.
"We're hopeful once that gets done, then he's on the road to complete recovery," Polian said. "The nice thing about watching him practice these last three weeks – and I shared this with him on Friday – was that he hasn't lost an iota of quickness or athletic ability. For the long period of time he has been out and the difficult time he has had with his knee, he was quick, he was decisive. He was sudden. To use the athletic term – quick twitch . . . none of that has left him.
"That would indicate that if we can get this knee squared away, he should be back and in terrific shape next year and that's our hope."