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Jay Cutler’s hard work led to surprisingly quick recovery

Updated: December 9, 2013 11:05AM



Eighteen days after tearing a left groin muscle that was supposed to keep him out at least twice as long, quarterback Jay Cutler was cleared by Bears doctors and took every snap in practice.

He’ll start Sunday against the Lions, coach Marc Trestman said, after an excellent practice Thursday in which he made long and short throws, moved around the pocket and even executed sprint-out plays.

At least publicly, the Bears said they wouldn’t alter their game plan to protect Cutler. And Cutler feels so good that he’d prefer not to wear wraps or pain pads on his groin.

“If I wasn’t back to 100 percent or they had any doubts in it, I wouldn’t have been practicing,” Cutler said. “That was the stipulation. They were going to let [backup] Josh [McCown] have another crack at it, and I was going to have to sit this one out.”

Trestman said he’d never seen such a fast recovery from an injury, which Cutler called the most painful of his career.

“The doctors had told us that the injury was what it was — it was a legitimate four-week injury,” Trestman said. “And Jay took it upon himself, like I said, literally, 24-7, doing everything he could to rehab.”

Cutler worked with chiropractors, Bears trainers and Synergy Fitness & Sports in Libertyville.

The company had treated teammates Charles Tillman, Patrick Mannelly and Matt Forte. Cutler was connected to the ARPwave, a high-intensity stimulus machine with two electrical pads.

The pads found a negative charge in his groin, in which scar tissue attaches to the muscle, making it unable to elongate and contract fully and less able to absorb shock.

The electrical current identified the cause of Cutler’s injury; the tear itself was merely a symptom. The cause was in the adductor longus, a hip adductor muscle in the inner thigh, Synergy CEO John McNulty said.

“When we find the cause of the issue,” said McNulty, who wasn’t surprised by the quick recovery, “the muscle gets back to working the way it’s supposed to be working.”

Cutler used the ARPwave machine to stimulate the muscle, increasing blood flow and strength, with range-of-motion exercises. He took the machine home, doing 14-minute treatments every six hours or so.

“As soon as I got hurt, I felt like I would be back quicker than they thought,” said Cutler, who said it took five or six days for the pain to subside after the injury.

Cutler — who said he didn’t worry about his expiring contract — knew during the bye week that he had a chance to play Sunday.

Early this week, he sensed he would. The machine “got me back,” Cutler said.

Teammates joked about his fast recovery. Forte said he had “superhuman healing powers,” and tight end Martellus Bennett compared him to comic-book hero Wolverine.

“I felt,” Bennett said, “like he never left practice.”

Email: pfinley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @patrickfinley



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