The Associated Press is reporting that representatives of LenDale White have confirmed that the running back will undergo surgery for a torn Achilles tendon. The injury occurred Thursday night in a preseason football game at Minnesota. The former USC running back recently joined the Broncos after several seasons in Tennessee and a recent attempt to make the Seattle Seahawks roster.

An Achilles tendon rupture can be a devastating injury in athletes. It typically involves a traumatic event rather than wear and tear over time. Often it comes from a sudden stop or start or change of directions. The athlete usually notices the injury right away and is unable to continue running and playing. The diagnosis is usually fairly easy to make by physical examination, although it’s not uncommon in high-level athletes to obtain an MRI to confirm the diagnosis. In non-athletic individuals, nonsurgical treatment involving many weeks in a cast is an option. However, surgical repair is almost always performed in athletes. Unfortunately, while healing rates with surgery are very high, this can be a very difficult injury from which to recover in athletes that require explosive power with running. I expect that it will take White many months to get back to jogging, and it will be interesting to see if his career as a running back in the NFL will ever be the same.

Read more about Achilles tendon injuries and treatments.