'It's a nightmare' – Packers LT David Bakhtiari has no timetable for return after more surgery

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Green Bay Packers All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari barely played last season, and there’s no telling when he’ll be healthy enough to take the field this coming season after he had another procedure on his left knee.

The latest procedure would be at least the third known surgery since Bakhtiari suffered a torn left ACL on New Year’s Eve 2020.

Bakhtiari has played just one game since the original injury, and that came in the regular-season finale at Detroit on January 9 before he was shut down for the playoffs. He was placed on the physically unable to perform list Wednesday as the Packers opened training camp.

Bakhtiari attended the Packers’ offseason program but did not practice, and instead worked off to the side with the rest of the players rehabbing injuries.

''It's a nightmare, my nightmare that I have to live,'' Bakhtiari said. ''I don't know how many days it's been, but I'm just excited to wake up (from the nightmare) one day.''

The Packers remain hopeful that Bakhtiari will be ready for the season opener at Minnesota on September 11.

''I think we're cautiously optimistic,'' general manager Brian Gutekunst said.

Clearly, the Packers are going to take a cautious approach with Bakhtiari, who was playing well enough to earn first-team All-Pro honours for a second time when he originally hurt the knee. His first surgery came after the 2020 season, before the second procedure to reduce swelling in the knee during the 2021 regular season.

''Everyone loves timelines,'' Bakhtiari said. ''When I'm ready, I'll be out there. What I can say is I do feel really good. I really like – I feel normal.

"My knee feels normal and that's the biggest plus. Now it's just getting that normal feeling again when I play football, so that's what it is, the load, stress, strength, but we're not really in an ACL issue. That's actually been a long time ago that we put that chapter to bed.''

With Bakhtiari unavailable for either of Green Bay's past two playoff losses, the Packers allowed five sacks in each of those games.

Green Bay faces the possibility of opening this season without its two best offensive linemen. Elgton Jenkins is also attempting to come back from an ACL tear he suffered on November 21 against Minnesota.

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