- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pierre Garcon tried playing through a foot injury that began during the preseason, but despite missing four regular-season games so far, the Washington Redskins wide receiver is not ready to consider surgery to fix the problem.

“It can but we really don’t want to go there,” Garcon said Thursday. “If surgery is [the] option, I’m probably done for the year. We really don’t want to think about that at all.”

Garcon saw a specialist, Dr. Robert B. Anderson, Wednesday in Charlotte, N.C., and was diagnosed with a plantar plate tear in the bottom of his right foot, under the second toe. It’s a new designation given for the injury, but Garcon said nothing had changed from recent days or weeks.

“It’s a bottom of the foot. There’s no real specific plantar plate tear or ligament tear or tendon tear or turf toe. It’s all the same thing,” he said. “Turf toe, it’s similar to a turf toe because they said it could happen on the [second toe]. It’s most common in the big toe.”

Running back Roy Helu Jr. was placed on injured reserve after Week 3 with turf toe. He’s out for the season.

Essentially, Garcon has a sprained foot, which is what the Redskins have called it all along. But that doesn’t mean he’ll return anytime soon.

“I’m trying to get treatment and try and get back out there as fast as we can,” Garcon said. “There’s no real timetable set for it or no real specific treatment to get it healed.”

Garcon has not practiced since before the Redskins game vs. the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 14. He has been expected to rest the foot since with the hopes of it healing.

Still, he’s testing the foot every day, at least unofficially.

“Every day I kind of try it on my own. I wake up every day like, ‘I hope it feels better.’ I take my medicines and try and relieve the pain,” Garcon said. “It all depends on how I feel when I wake up. If I feel like there’s less pain, I’m going to put more power on it and see if we can go a little bit or not.”

Garcon left in Week 1 and had said all along that he suffered this injury on his 88-yard touchdown catch from Robert Griffin III at the Superdome. But the pain predates that.

“I felt it early in the year, I felt it early in the preseason. I just kept playing,” Garcon said. “I’m kind of stubborn so I just keep playing, fighting through whatever. It’s just a toe injury, so I was like, it’ll be all right, just ice it, just keep playing. And then in New Orleans I felt a pop; that’s when things were serious when you feel a pop. I felt it early on throughout the year, but it wasn’t nothing major to go see the trainers about it or go tell the coaches about it.”

Then Garcon tried to come back a couple of weeks after the Saints game and was not effective in limited duty. If he’s playing, though, Garcon doesn’t want to be a decoy.

“I’m out there to make plays, not to just distract the guys or do whatever,” he said. “I played with it. I can play with it. But I can’t really run full-speed; I can’t really explode, be fast because that’s the only thing I really can do for the offense. I can’t really get much explosion because it’s that painful.”

Garcon called the possibility of resting it from the start in hindsight a “learning experience.” It could have changed the course of his season.

“We could say that now, but going through it, I was like, ‘I feel like I can play a little bit, I feel like I can do a little something, something,’” Garcon said. “But when it came down to it and the painkillers wore off and you’re out there and your foot is hurting, you’re not performing as high as you would want to. You want to say, ‘Yeah I could’ve shut it down.’ But we went along and we made a group decision and we decided to go back out there and try to help the team.”

Moving forward, there’s concern still about the foot, surgery or not. He said it’s not “definite” that there will have to be surgery, but it is an option if the injury does not heal properly.

On the field, Garcon has to be careful when he tests the foot, even though Anderson said the injury can’t technically get any worse.

“It can feel worse, I guess. So I guess it’s an inside feeling thing,” Garcon said. “They say it can’t get worse, but I think it can. It can get dislocated; it can cause other injuries for overcompensating for it.”

That leaves Garcon, who signed a five-year, $42.5 million contract with the Redskins, in a quandary.

“I don’t want to be on the sideline,” he said. “It is frustrating, but you’ve just got to think about what’s best for it and what’s best for the future. You don’t want to make it worse just for one season.”