Dusty Zeigler Exclusive

Dusty headed for season ending surgery (AP)

"All my desires to get back on the field, and now I have to go through painstaking rehab again. It's just a bummer, but it's the nature of the beast. It's the way the ball bounces..." - Dusty Zeigler on going through surgery

Dusty Zeigler's ready to go under the knife once again. Well, actually he has no choice but to be ready. Friday morning, Zeigler will have his injured knee operated on for the second time in 10 months. Before January, Zeigler enjoyed an injury-free football career.

"Looking back from the first surgery, I know I'm going to be miserable," he said in an exclusive interview with TGI Thursday morning. "For the next few months, it's going to be rough."

Zeigler had microfracture surgery performed in January. According to Zeigler, the doctor cleaned up one rough spot. There was another rough spot that he noticed, but decided to put off operating on for the time being. The other trouble spot worsened a lot faster than anyone thought and Zeigler, who has had swelling, clicking and popping in his knee, was headed to surgery again.

"To be honest, I knew I'd have to have knee surgery again in my life, but I never thought it would be this soon," he said. "I had all intentions of coming off that first knee surgery and having a great season."

Instead, he's played only two games - at guard - and his season was officially ended on Tuesday, when he was placed on Injured Reserve.

Now he readies for another knee procedure.

"Since I've done it once before, I kind of know the routine," Zeigler said. "The only thing that I don't like is not being able to eat after midnight. No breakfast, have to get up early. That kind of stinks. I'm going to get drugged up. I'm getting the epidural again. The most frightening part is post-op. You're laying on the gurney and waiting for the feeling to return in your legs, and having visions of being paralyzed for the rest of your life. It's kind of scary."

Zeigler said he hopes for a full recovery and to finish his career in New York. However, he has a hard time getting too far ahead of himself at this point.

"It seems like everything I've done has been bound up and bridled," he said. "All my desires to get back on the field, and now I have to go through painstaking rehab again. It's just a bummer, but it's the nature of the beast. It's the way the ball bounces. If you're going to play football, you're going to face this at some point. Every player is. Right now, for me I thought I was at a strong point in my career and had a lot of great expectations out of myself, and then I got punched in the head. Actually, I should say kicked in the knee."

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