Given the seriousness of the upcoming surgery, doctors wanted to exercise all other options and rule out other causes before venturing down this path. After checking all the elements, Bakhtiari underwent arthroscopic surgery last week, which confirmed the necessity of surgery.
Bakhtiari did not provide a date but said it would be performed by Chicago-based orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brian J. Cole. He hopes to be ready for training camp next summer.
“In my knee, it’s basically like sandpaper where it rubs, it’s not smooth, which creates a lot of fluid,” Bakhtiari said. “I’ve been dealing with a lot of infiltration for a long time, and this is where you see the constant, I’m in and then I’m out, I’m out and then I’m in. We wanted to make sure we could address every possible way to not do that because we understood what surgery should be like.”
It’s another frustrating setback for the 32-year-old lineman, who was voted to five AP All-Pro teams in his first eight years as the Packers’ starting left tackle.
Bakhtiari has endured several lengthy rehabs to get to this point and the hope was that a season without surgery would set the table for a big comeback in 2023. Instead, the 6-foot-4, 314-pound tackle will likely face another long rehab .
When asked why this was happening again, Bakhtiari thought about the question for a moment before speaking directly from the heart.
“Because I’m different,” Bakhtiari said. “I have a work ethic like no other. I’m very stubborn and I’m not going to let someone else write my story. That’s just me controlling what I have to do. When I want to look back, I do it.” Is this good enough? “If it’s not me, the older one’s future will be (set) on the younger one.”
Bakhtiari, the longest-tenured player on the Packers’ current roster, has one year remaining on the contract he signed before tearing his ACL in 2020.
Bakhtiari acknowledged his death over football and the uncertainty of his future in Green Bay, but spoke of the positive working relationship he has with general manager Brian Gutekunst and several individuals around the building.
He also recalled a fascinating conversation he had with an unnamed Packers employee who recently pulled him aside and reminded Bakhtiari that “you can’t eat an elephant in one bite. It’s one piece at a time.”
“And this is what I intend to do,” Bakhtiari added. “Making sure you attack the rehab, win the day, take bites out of that elephant, take down the elephant, and then make the decision and look.
“They have decisions to make, what’s best for their franchise. I understood that the minute I got here. I saw every face disappear. (One day) this face will disappear too. I can’t live here. Maybe.”
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