Terrell Owens' plans to return for a 16th NFL season are in jeopardy after he recently had reconstructive knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi confirmed Monday through a league source.
ESPN initially reported Owens' surgery Sunday night, saying the earliest the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver could return to action is in mid-to-late November, according to sources familiar with the injury. Owens, 37, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent once the NFL lockout ends.
How exactly Owens injured the knee remains unclear. One source said he suffered the injury while taping a segment for his VH1 reality show. Another source said Owens injured himself during personal workouts.
Owens and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, weren't available for comment. Rosenhaus' brother and business partner, Jason, told ESPN: "I don't like to deny stories or confirm or deny anything. It's really something for Drew (to address)."
Owens played for the Cincinnati Bengals last season, catching 72 passes for 983 yards and nine touchdowns. He missed the end of the season after tearing meniscus cartilage in his left knee during a Dec. 19 game against the Cleveland Browns.
Owens had the meniscus injury repaired by Dr. James Andrews. The noted orthopedist also administered the latest surgery, ESPN reported.