Zach Miller injury update: Bears TE's artery stabilized

Vascular surgeons have stabilized the torn artery in Bears tight end Zach Miller’s left leg and he has a good pulse, but he’ll remain in New Orleans for some time because of the nature of the injury, Bears coach John Fox said Monday.

According to ESPN, which cited an unidentified source, doctors found that Miller’s popliteal artery was “shredded from above the knee joint to below the knee.” Earlier in the day, ESPN cited unidentified league and Bears sources in reporting that surgeons had been working to save Miller’s leg during emergency surgery late Sunday, although it’s unclear whether amputation was considered.

Miller dislocated his knee in the third quarter of Sunday’s loss to the Saints, and surgeons at University Medical Center New Orleans credited the Bears medical staff for promptly diagnosing the artery problem and rushing him to the hospital.

Fox told reporters Monday afternoon that he had spoken to Miller on the phone a few hours earlier and that the tight end “was in good spirits.”

“Right now the report is they’re obviously going to take a while for it to make sure it remains good, but he’s got good pulse in his lower leg as well as he has good feeling. His foot is warm, which is a good sign,” Fox said. “Not that he’s out of the woods by any stretch, but it’s as good as could be expected at this point.”

Asked whether Miller was still in jeopardy of losing part of his leg, Fox said: “I don’t want to go down that path. I’m not a doctor, I don’t know. I’m not right there, but I think they feel good about where he is right now as it relates to that.”

The Bears announced that team medical personnel would stay with Miller in New Orleans.

“Obviously with any kind of vascular issue you don’t want altitude. You don’t want people flying. … He’ll have to remain there (in New Orleans) for some time. He won’t be coming back to Chicago any time real soon,” Fox said.

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