DENVER -- Broncos tailback LenDale White had surgery to repair a ruptured right Achilles' tendon that will sideline him for the season.
His uncle, Herman White, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the operation "went as expected" and his nephew now has "some work he needs to put in."
"It's going to be a long haul," Herman White said.
The former USC standout faces months of arduous rehabilitation as he tries to make a return to the field. Many tailbacks have struggled to come back from this type of tear, but Herman White said his nephew's spirits and confidence "are real high."
"He's ready to do this," Herman White said. "There are people that are speculating that he won't be back, because of the severity and that very few have been able to come back successfully. He's a young man and he's strong. I'm very confident that he's going to be back."
Should LenDale White need any pointers or advice as he goes through rehab, he doesn't have far to go.
Andre Brown, a tailback whom the Broncos recently were awarded on waivers, ruptured his Achilles' tendon in training camp in August 2009 while a rookie with the New York Giants. The fourth-round draft pick out of North Carolina State looked solid at times in camp this summer before being waived-injured by the Giants over the weekend as the team pared down its roster.
The time it took Brown to return to the field corresponds with the research that LenDale White's family has been doing into torn Achilles' tendons. Recovery typically is around a year.
"This is not something he can take lightly," Herman White said. "But the healing process and returning back to form, it's something he's prepared for."
LenDale White was brought into camp to bolster a banged-up Broncos backfield. But he sprained his ankle two days after arriving in Denver, missing a chunk of time.
White returned strong, rushing for 53 yards and two touchdowns in the preseason before tearing his Achilles' tendon. White figured to be a force near the goal line this season for the Broncos, once he returned from his four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.
His uncle said LenDale is grateful for the chance at a fresh start in his hometown.
"It's definitely a new chapter," Herman White said. "It's a great opportunity for him. He's real ecstatic."
As for what awaits LenDale White, his uncle simply said, "Rehab, rehab, rehab."
"But I'm sure the Broncos have great people over there," he said. "I'm sure they'll get him where needs to go."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press