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SI.com's Week 14 Med Check - Featuring Matt Cassel's appendix

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Every week SportsIllustrated.com's Will Carroll puts out a column discussing the most interesting injuries cases for the week. This week's Med Check features a lot of interesting information on Charger opponent Matt Cassel and his appendectomy.

Week 14 Med Check: Times are a-changin, especially with healin

The basic conclusion he comes to on the Chiefs QB is that medicine has advanced so fast that there is virtually no risk in Matt Cassel playing in this game.

I asked Dr. Matthew Lublin of St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., about this type of procedure and he explained that it was all about pain tolerance. "If he feels healthy enough, he can play. He cannot cause any damage to himself by playing. It comes down to his pain threshold following the surgery."

I had an appendectomy back in 1992 and I have a nice sized scar because of it. Back then they sliced you open all the way through the muscle and removed the appendix. The removal point was stitched back together as was the incision made into the skin and muscle.

Since then they've developed a way to do the procedure laparoscopically. This creates more of a puncture into your abdomen rather than a sliced opening. They also started cauterizing the removal point which eliminates the need for stitches. What that means is that you no longer have to worrying about movement opening the wound further. Will Carroll evens says as much in the article. The other advantage is that you no longer have as much muscle damaged so there's less time needed to get your abdomen strength back. Basically, everything that could keep you from doing what you normally do is no longer an issue and all you're left with is the pain of having been professionally and precisely stabbed.

Does that mean Matt Cassel will play? No, it does not. But, it does mean that Todd Haley is not just being cagey when he claims that Cassel could play.

Editor's note: Matt Cassel did not make the trip to San Diego and will not play this Sunday.

You can follow Will Carroll on twitter at @injuryexpert.