It was reported last Friday that New Orleans Saints star wide receiver Michael Thomas would miss the start of the upcoming regular season after he underwent ankle surgery in June to repair an issue that bothered him throughout the 2020 campaign, and a later story said the two-time All-Pro could begin Week 1 in September on the physically unable to perform list and, thus, be out through the season's first six weeks.
Understandably, some fans and observers wondered why Thomas didn't have the procedure done earlier in the winter or spring. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis attempted to clear the air on the subject when speaking with reporters Wednesday:
Mickey Loomis said the Saints + Michael Thomas treated his injury conservatively after the end of the season, said they hoped it would heal & it didn't. "Obviously, in hindsight, we would've preferred the surgery to be earlier (Feb/March) but it wasn't, so it is what it is."— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) July 28, 2021
Mickey Loomis was asked how long they knew Michael Thomas would miss time, he said obviously when he had the surgery in June. Mentioned "conservative treatment" a few times.— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) July 28, 2021
Loomis did not divulge any timetable for Thomas' potential return to action:
Loomis asked about a potential timetable for MT: "We've had some discussions that I'd rather not share. We have a good sense of what the timetable would ordinarily be and we'll act accordingly"— Luke Johnson (@ByLukeJohnson) July 28, 2021
Head coach Sean Payton also expressed frustration over the matter:
Payton echoes what Loomis said re: MT, then goes further: "It's disappointing. We'll work through it with the other players that are here. ... Obviously, we would've liked that to have happened earlier than it did -- and quite honestly it should have"— Luke Johnson (@ByLukeJohnson) July 28, 2021
Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill are competing to replace future Hall of Famer Drew Brees as New Orleans' starting quarterback. Whoever wins the gig should only play better with Thomas on the field, but it remains unclear when that may happen either this summer or fall.