Lions QB Stafford has shoulder surgery

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford had surgery on his throwing

shoulder Friday, and the Lions say they expect the former No. 1

draft pick to be back in time for training camp after playing only

three games last season.

Stafford’s operation was performed by renowned sports Dr. James

Andrews in Pensacola, Fla., after consultations this week. Stafford

played only one game start to finish last season. He hurt his right

shoulder in the season opener, came back for a victory over

Washington on Halloween, then injured the same shoulder again the

following game.

Stafford wasn’t able to play again. He went on injured reserve

on Dec. 24.

”After Matt hurt his shoulder in the (Nov. 7) game he was

examined by both our medical staff and Dr. Andrews. There was a

consensus at the time to proceed with a rehabilitation program and

not to have surgery,” coach Jim Schwartz said. ”After Matt’s most

recent visit to Dr. Andrews, it was determined by Dr. Andrews that

Matt’s healing process could be enhanced by undergoing surgery at

this time. … We have full confidence that Matt will be 100

percent before the start of training camp.”

Stafford, the top pick in the 2009 draft, has played in only 13

games in two seasons.

Despite Stafford’s injury woes, the Lions managed to win six

games last season, including four in a row at the end. Backup Shaun

Hill performed capably, and Drew Stanton also contributed.

There’s no telling what Detroit could accomplish if Stafford

could stay healthy. When he did play last season, he threw for six

touchdowns and one interception in 96 attempts.

Andrews called Friday’s procedure a success.

”It went very well,” he said. ”We now have plenty of time for

a full recovery in order for him to get ready for next season. The

procedure is the same one that we have successfully performed on a

number of NFL quarterbacks. Matthew has one of the strongest arms

in the league and I am confident that he will be as strong as

ever.”