Refreshed Sanchez Talks Surgery, Diabetes

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Less than a day after the Jets announced that Mark Sanchez would be having surgery on his left knee, the Jets' quarterback stopped by the NFL Network set in Miami to discuss his upcoming procedure and his involvement with juvenile diabetes through the Pepsi Refresh Project.

"I'm having surgery here in two weeks or so," Sanchez told Rich Eisen and company. "It's a minimally invasive procedure. They said I'll recover definitely by [training] camp and be ready for the season. It will be an intense rehab and I'm excited to get this fixed because we've elected to do it."

Head Jets physician Dr. Ken Montgomery will handle the operation that will stabilize the patella. Sanchez, who dislocated his left kneecap at Southern Cal back in August 2008, tweaked that same knee in the Jets' 17-6 Week 12 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

"They are going to repair some ligaments on the inside of it and just stabilize it," Sanchez said. "The way they explained it is your car's out of alignment and you're either going to keep thinking about it or let's knock this thing out, we'll tune it up and we'll be done. It's something that's bothered me since college and now I get a chance really to nip it in the bud and get it over with."

After meeting with team doctors last week, Sanchez had both of his knees examined by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. In addition to banging the left knee and missing four plays against the Panthers, Sanchez suffered a mild right knee sprain four days later in the Jets' 19-13 Week 13 victory over the Buffalo Bills at Rogers Centre in Toronto.

"This just eliminates the need for a brace," said Sanchez of the surgery. "Really I won't have to think about it anymore. I don't think it bothered me too much. Obviously you could play, especially when the playoffs are at stake and you're trying to make it to the big game — you don't even think about it. But they don't want me thinking about it at all, during the offseason or anything, so it will be good."

While Sanchez donning a blue-collared shirt during Super Bowl week is something no Jets fan would ever dream about, the 23-year-old passer had good reason Wednesday. Sanchez, Saints QB Drew Brees and Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware are competing in an off-the-field campaign with Pepsi to improve America's communities.

Sanchez is trying to build awareness around the signs of type 1 or juvenile diabetes, Brees is looking to provide rooms for cancer patients and their caregivers, and Ware is aiming to provide a safe environment for the abused.

Jets Nation can cast their votes right now for Sanchez at www.nfl.com/PepsiRefresh or via text by typing P-E-P-S-I (73774).  The idea that receives the most votes will receive a $100,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project and fans have until midnight Friday to cast their vote.

"What they're trying to do is develop these educational programs to inform teachers and parents and family members of juvenile diabetes victims about the early stages and early signs to diagnose it and try to treat it quickly," said Sanchez. "You have to text our names to Pepsi — P-E-P-S-I. On your phone, it's 73774. Text Mark, hopefully — M-A-R-K."

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