Cowboys’ McBriar has successful surgery

Cowboys punter Mat McBriar underwent surgery Tuesday at the Mayo Clinic to remove an intraneural cyst below his left knee.

The surgery was successful, according to a release from the Clinic, and should prevent the drop foot condition that caused McBriar to miss two games last season.

“Mat’s surgery went extremely well,” said Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon Robert Spinner, M.D., who performed the surgery. “I believe he will be as good a punter as ever.”

The Mayo Clinic released a video showing a pre-surgical test of McBriar punting a Nerf football with electrodes attached to his feet and legs. The video was then converted to computer animation for evaluation by the Mayo Clinic’s motion analysis lab.

The benign cyst, called an intraneural ganglion, was within a nerve, causing McBriar’s problems. Recent studies at the Mayo have shown that such cysts are connected to a neighboring joint by a small nerve branch. Identifying and treating the joint connection leads to successful surgeries like McBriar’s.

To McBriar, who will be an unrestricted free agent this spring, it all means he can start punting again and, hopefully, get back to Pro Bowl form.

“I’m thrilled,” McBriar said in the Mayo release. “I couldn’t ask for better news. I’m concentrating on a speedy recovery.”

Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire