CHARLOTTE, NC - He’s the man in charge of keeping the Carolina Panther superstars in tip top shape. The man chosen to cure and prevent injuries, in the sport, that defines rough and tough. Dr. Patrick Connor said, “Well anytime a player has an injury certainly you consider the injury or any other injury that may be associated with it. Playing professional football has risks and these professional athletes and pro players understand that.
Dr. Patrick Connor of OrthoCarolina has been one of the lead doctors for the Carolina panthers for 19 years. He traveled with the team when they played the Patriots in the Super Bowl in 2004 and he’s ready for round two against the Broncos. Dr. Connor said, “The Super Bowl for the players is much different of a game and it's different for us in some capacity. There's a lot more players on the sidelines more cameras and a lot more attention but from a practical standpoint, we are still watching the game looking for injuries, taking care of injuries when and if hopefully they don't occur.”
Dr. Connor operated on Thomas Davis last Monday, putting a metal plate and twelve screws to hold his arm together. After he was taken out of the NFC game for breaking his arm bone in two. While he can’t talk specifically about Davis and his status, he works with athletes every day, and assesses whether their injury is one that can sustain a full game of play.
Dr. Connor said, “It's pretty injury specific, there's a lot of variables that go into it. Some of the basic principles anytime there's an injury whether it's an arm injury or leg injury the first issue is whether or not they can play without any pain or inflammation or swelling.”
His job is tough too, making decisions on a dime, some that could keep players out of the game if their medical conditions deems it. But Dr. Connor isn’t in the business of making people happy he’s in the business of keeping people healthy. Dr. Connor is already in San Jose he left with the team on Sunday.
But treating his patients and teammates out of state, is another ball game.
Dr. Connor said, “The main difference with being on the road is we don't have medical licenses in other states. Because if someone were to have an injury in different state I couldn’t operate on them. So, there is some orchestration and collaboration that occurs, a very big effort as you might imagine for the Super Bowl.”
The Super Bowl is another beast. One with bigger stakes, bragging rights, and risks. Dr. Connor is just happy to be a part of history, again.
Dr. Connor said, “I'm very happy for the players and the coaches & the organization, and I absolutely want them to win because of my relationship with all these players & people in the organization but I really try not to be a fan. I try to keep my distance, because like you said, sometimes there's a conflict whether it's real or perceived with doing what's best for the team versus doing what's best for the player so I really try to keep my professional distance from being too much of a fan.”