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Saints Coach Sean Payton Says He Feels Max Unger Will Be Ready Late in Preseason

A shroud of mystery surrounded New Orleans Saints center Max Unger, who recently underwent foot surgery, Herbie Teope of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

While there are various reports speculating on Unger’s road to recovery, the Saints have their sights set on before the start of the regular season.

“We anticipate probably early August,” coach Sean Payton said Saturday on Day Two of rookie minicamp. “I see him possibly being able to get into the preseason. Our goal would be Week 3 (of the preseason), so that’s where he’s at.”

Payton confirmed two key areas on Unger’s situation – the foot surgery and the procedure was performed on the same foot that caused Unger to miss one game in 2016.

While questions could linger as to why the Saints waited until May to have Unger undergo surgery, Payton points out the team hoped rest after the regular season would work.

“At the end of the season, on the X-ray he had a little bit of a space there, where you would call the Lisfranc,” Payton said. “And you make one of two decisions. Dr. (Robert) Anderson, who we think is one of the best foot guys in football, felt like, ‘Hey, let’s rest it. No need for a procedure.'”

The Saints, however, noticed at the start of the offseason workout program in April that the problem needed further evaluation with Anderson.

“When we got back started in the offseason program, it had increased a little bit,” Payton said. “So he felt like putting a screw in it now was going allow him plenty of time to rehab.”

The Saints appear confident the offense won’t need to rely on a center to start the regular season other than Unger, especially when considering the team elected to address the injury now.

“It wasn’t anything new, and yet we were hoping the rest would help it out,” Payton said. “And we’re getting ahead of it.”

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