Late last night, the Bengals received negative news for the first time in a while, with the leaking of an injury to first round cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported that Kirkpatrick had told his teammates he suffered a leg injury while preparing himself for training camp and would miss most of training camp as a result. As further reports were released later, Kirkpatrick was rumored to be out 4-6 weeks with a small fractured bone in his knee.
Local 12's Sports Director Brad Johansen has been constantly on the issue as well, and has come to a conclusion that Kirkpatrick is "dealing with Osgood-Shlatter syndrome [which] involves an irritated patellar tendon/bone".
After reading the Wikipedia page for Osgood-Schlatter Syndrome, it appears that the "small broken bone" is directly related to Osgood-Schlatter syndrome.
The condition generally appears in male adolescents, when growth spurts combine with overworked legs. When overstressed, the patellar tendon, which stretches between the patella (kneecap) and the tibia (shinbone), actually begins to irritate and fragment the very top part of the tibia. As a result, the tip of the tibia is pulled away from the rest of the bone, and a painful bump forms just below the knee.
The treatment for this, is simply "stimulation & rest", as Johansen reports. With ice, rest, and careful stimulation, Kirkpatrick should be back on the field and 100% in about 4-6 weeks, as the reports had said. Maybe even less, because Kirkpatrick has an NFL training staff carefully watching over the rehab of a relatively common ailment for adolescent athletes.
It sounds like Kirkpatrick worked his butt off in the offseason, and actually overworked his knee in the process. The team undergoes physicals tomorrow afternoon, and an official statement is likely to be made then.
It's unfortunate that Kirkpatrick suffered an injury that may have entirely eliminated rookie training camp, significantly altering his rookie development. However, the Bengals already had a long list of capable corners fighting to make the team, after drafting Shaun Prater, re-signing Adam Jones, and adding veteran free agents Terence Newman and Jason Allen. The young Brandon Ghee and Shaun Prater now have a chance to step up with more snaps available in training camp. With nothing settled, it will be an interesting battle for sure.