Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints had surgery on his ankle last month, and the recovery time could take him into the opening weeks of the season.
Ian Rapport reported on Twitter that recovery from his June surgery could take up to four months.
Thomas needed multiple procedures to repair the ligaments in his ankle, and his final procedure took place last month.
With an estimated four months of recovery, Thomas is looking at a mid October return, and there's no guarantee he'll be back at his best right away for the Saints.
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Thomas was limited to just five starts last season, but he was a first team All-Pro each of the previous two.
Thomas posted 149 catches, 1,725 yards, and nine touchdowns in 2019. Just 28 years old, Thomas is expected to make a full recovery.
Last week it was reported that Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata would be suspended for six games to start the season following a positive test for a banned substance.
The Falcons don't play their division rival until Week 9 when they travel to New Orleans on November 7 before a return game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to finish the regular season on January 9. But Atlanta, under new management and coming off a losing season, will of course accept any break that comes its way. Meanwhile, the Saints are already undergoing their own organizational transformation with long-time star QB Drew Brees having retired ... and now the receiving corps down another star.