The already depleted roster of the Indianapolis Colts just got even thinner. The Associated Press is reporting that wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez has been put on injured reserve, meaning that he is out for the season. He becomes the 12th Colts player put on injured reserve this year. The wide receiver has been diagnosed with a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his knee. The injury reportedly occurred when he was tackled out of bounds in the Colts’ game against the Houston Texans Monday night. Publicly, the Colts are suggesting Gonzalez might not need surgery. “It’s just a question of how long it will take to heal,” Colts’ President Bill Polian said. “I don’t know that surgery is indicated.”

The posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) is the ligament behind the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). A PCL injury occurs much less frequently than the ACL. Typically this ligament is injured when a player is hit directly on the front of the knee or lands on his knee with his foot pointing down. The ligament can be torn by itself or injured with other ligaments at the same time.

Treatment depends on how severely this ligament is injured and whether or not other ligaments are injured. A sprain or partial tear of the ligament is usually treated without surgery. Occasionally complete ruptures, if the ligament is torn by itself, can even be treated without surgery. Combined ligament injuries are usually fixed with surgical reconstruction or repair. The recovery process is a long one, as many months of physical therapy to restore motion and strength around the knee is needed.

Please read more about posterior cruciate ligament injuries.