RENTON, Wash. -- Nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones will have his second knee operation in an eight-month span, but he isn't the only Seattle Seahawk who's hurting.

Cornerback Marcus Trufant, a Pro Bowler last season, has a back problem that first-year coach Jim Mora says is "not unlike" quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's condition that cost him the majority of last season.

Walter Jones , OT
Seattle Seahawks

Career Biography
Experience: 13th season
Height: 6-5
Weight: 325

Mora is figuring to be without both players when the Seahawks open the regular season Sept. 13 against the St. Louis Rams.

"I think you absolutely have to think in those terms," Mora said after practice Wednesday. "I think you make a mistake if you don't. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.

"There's no panic. Sure, we'd like to have them. But if we don't, we don't. What are we going to do, cancel the season? No. We have to move on."

Jones, 35, will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Thursday morning in Seattle. Jones had microfracture surgery on the same knee in December, but he has missed all but three days of practice in training camp.

Jones, the anchor of Seattle's offensive line for the last decade, tried to practice Monday but left midway through the session.

"Walt just felt weird in his knee. We got an MRI on it, to be safe," Mora said, adding there might be some "loose bodies" in the knee and that the surgery is "just to check it out."

Mora is optimistic that Jones will return this season.

Another one gone?
Seahawks LB Leroy Hill
is facing a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in Georgia and said he expects to hear from the league about a possible suspension. More ...

"We don't think that it's anything significant, but we just want to make sure," Mora said.

Until then, usual right tackle Sean Locklear will stay on the left side. Ray Willis will start at right tackle.

At the beginning of camp, Jones said his knee felt "pretty good." The man whom former Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren called the best offensive player he ever coached played after taking a painkilling injection in the knee last Thanksgiving. However, Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware repeatedly and alarmingly blew past Jones and pounded Hasselbeck.

It was the final game that Hasselbeck started in 2008 before he rested his bad back for good, and the last one Jones started before the Dec. 11 procedure in which doctors drilled holes into the bone of his knee to regenerate cartilage.

The general recovery time for that operation calls for running to begin by six months and a return to competition by nine months, a span that would end two days before the season opener.

Now comes this arthroscopic procedure.

Hasselbeck said the bulging disk in his back that cost him nine games last season has been healed by intense strengthening of his core muscles. He isn't yet thinking about life without Jones protecting his blind side and downplayed the significance of the lineman's latest surgery.

"That's probably a big deal to the outside world," Hasselbeck said. "In a locker room, it's 'Hey, what are you doing this weekend? Oh, I'm getting a 'scope.'"

Hasselbeck then dryly noted that Jones has missed multiple offseasons and training camps in the past -- mostly over contract issues -- then maintained his elite play.

"Maybe if it was someone else (it would be big to miss all of camp)," Hasselbeck said. "But Walt has done it so many times: No OTAs, no minicamps, no training camp -- Pro Bowl."

Marcus Trufant , CB
Seattle Seahawks

Career Statistics
Games/Starts: 96/96
Tackles: 458
Interceptions: 17

Trufant has yet to practice in camp. Mora said the seventh-year cornerback and key to Seattle's secondary "tweaked" his back during a pass-defense drill the last week of July. Trufant has been on the physically unable to perform list since camp started.

"He's making a good recovery," Mora said. "But because of the history that we have with backs here, we're very careful. So we sent him for an MRI.

"There is a disk issue, not unlike Matt's. ... It's good that we found this out now, rather than in the middle of the season and have him try to push through it, because now we can make some decisions on how we move forward."

The Seahawks must decide by the final roster date of Sept. 5 whether to place Trufant on the PUP list to begin the season, which would open an active roster spot. That also would force Trufant to miss at least the first six games.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

NFL News
CONTENT
15