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San Diego Chargers running back Melvin Gordon had microfracture surgery in January

The Chargers 2015 first round pick is recovering from microfracture surgery.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The San Diego Chargers 2015 first round pick Melvin Gordon had an incredibly disappointing rookie season that was cut short by injury. On January 5, he had surgery. Until today, we did not know the extent of that procedure. Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune tweeted the answer to that unasked question tonight:

The words "microfracture surgery" send a chill down the spine of sports fans everywhere (think Myles Jack sliding out of the first round despite being a top five talent). It can be and, more often than you'd like to think, is a career-ender. It is, at the least, career threatening.

In this case, there seems to be quite a bit of optimism. Gordon's timetable for return was four-to-six months (which we're roughly in the middle of at present). It's impossible to say at this time if this is realistic or if Gordon's surgery will have a lasting impact on his ability to play football in the future. But it's worth noting that very few NFL players have had sustained success following this procedure.

Expressed optimism or not, this is scary news for the Chargers who burned multiple picks trading up for and drafting Melvin Gordon. His rookie year suggested strongly that he was a potential bust. Ending that season with microfracture surgery makes it even more likely.

On the bright side, it should be easier for Telesco & co. to (if necessary) move on from Gordon due to injury than due to continued poor performance.