Packers LT David Bakhtiari says he has no long-term concerns about knee injury

Green Bay Packers' All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari played just 27 snaps in 2021 while dealing with a knee injury that kept him out of Sunday's postseason loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

In an interview with Aaron Nagler of CheeseheadTV, Bakhtiari detailed his frustration with the aftermath of the torn ACL suffered last January that required additional surgery this season. But the 30-year-old said he doesn't have any long-term concerns about the knee.

"No. The hurdle you want to get over is having a full recovery from an ACL," he told Nagler. "I know my ACL is good. My meniscus is good, they cut out like 10-15 percent of it. It's just my knee needing rest. Structurally it's good. Just need to take this time off."

Bakhtiari's ACL tear included damage to his meniscus. As he attempted a comeback this season, the left tackle dealt with fluid buildup in his knee that required draining multiple times. Eventually, doctors found additional cartilage damage that required a November operation that delayed a potential return.

"It's just tough when the answer is the one answer you don't want to hear: Don't play football for a while," Bakhtiari said.

The left tackle returned in Week 18 for 27 snaps in the season finale in Detroit, but after the test drive, Bakhtiari had more fluid buildup that required draining.

"I mean, I'm hearing mumblings around the building of people wanting to see me in a game," he said. "I can tell coaches want to get me out there. I'm like, 'You guys really want to see me in a game, I get it. If you feel uncomfortable with me in a playoff game, sure, I get it. I'm just trying to make sure my knee feels as good as possible.'

"Four or five days after the Detroit game, we end up pulling 88 ccs (of fluid) out. I'm like, 'This is a (expletive) nightmare. This thing won't end.'"

The struggles to get past the injury frustrated the star pass protector.

"The only answer I got, you had two surgeries in a calendar year and things are so inflamed and so angry that every time you start pushing the fluid it just ignites the whole area," Bakhtiari said. "Structurally, I'm good. I know it's fine, that's why no one ever saw me with a knee brace. There's no mental hurdle I'm trying to get over. It's just 'Can the (expletive) thing work?'

"People don't understand the fluid thing. Talk to any nurse or doctor. I had one nurse tell me, 'That's the most fluid I've ever pulled out of someone's knee.' and I'm like 'Thank you?'"

With the Packers eliminated from the postseason, Bakhtiari will be able to rest with the hopes of finally returning fully healthy next season. What Green Bay will look like at that point, and who he'll be blocking for, is anyone's guess.

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