Texans' Clowney has microfracture knee surgery

HOUSTON (AP) Houston's Jadeveon Clowney, the top overall pick in this year's draft, had microfracture surgery on his right knee.

General manager Rick Smith said Clowney had the surgery on Monday.

The Texans said last week that Clowney would have season-ending knee surgery, but did not specify what that surgery would be. This surgery was the second this season for the outside linebacker. He had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee after being injured in Week 1.

He played three games since the first procedure but continued to struggle with pain and swelling in his knee.

He saw his most extensive action of the season against the Bengals on Nov. 23, when he was in for about 50 plays and had three tackles, including one for a loss. But he experienced swelling in his knee after that and missed his eighth game of the year a week later.

He last spoke to the media on Thanksgiving, when he revealed he was still in a lot of pain and that dealing with this injury has been difficult and frustrating for him.

''It's very tough knowing my ability and how I can play but that my knee won't let me,'' he said then. ''That's the hard part about it that my knee keeps me from doing a lot of things I was doing before I got hurt.''

Clowney has had a tough time since Houston took him with the No. 1 overall pick, eager to put him on a defense already featuring rush specialist J.J. Watt. He left a dual practice Aug. 20 after a helmet-to-helmet hit with Denver Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme and missed the Texans' final two preseason games, but said he passed the NFL protocols for head injuries in just over a week. He had to sit out the beginning of camp, too, after offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia.

The Texans drafted Clowney after a three-year career at South Carolina in which he had 130 tackles, 24 sacks, 47 tackles for losses and 20 quarterback pressures. He also caused a school-record nine fumbles and deflected seven passes. The 6-foot-5, 266-pound Clowney also set a school record with 13 sacks in 2012.

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