FOX 26 Sports reports that Texans defensive tackle Travis Johnson had successful surgery three weeks ago in St. Louis for a sports hernia that had been bothering him for the past couple of years. Johnson, who missed most of OTAs with an assortment of injuries, told FOX's Mark Berman that he is hopeful that the surgery will allow him to be more productive and injury-free in 2009.
**"It's been a big burden,"** Johnson told FOX. "I had to get a lot of stuff done to it as far as shots just to be able to get out of the bed every morning. Now that we finally got some answers, as far as what's going on and got it somewhat fixed I think, that's a great thing."
Johnson missed only one game in both of the past two seasons, but he had been bothered in the past two offseasons and regular seasons with knee, pelvis, hamstring and other injuries. Johnson told Berman that the hernia was at the root of several of his injuries over the past couple of years.
"My body started breaking down with the hamstrings and the groins," Johnson said. "Everything was over-compensating for the fact that I had a hernia. It just took its toll on my body. I went to go see a specialist in St. Louis and that's what it came out to be."
A healthy and reinvigorated Johnson would be a boon to the Texans' defensive line. A first-round pick in 2005, he had a career-high 41 tackles and an interception in 2007, followed by 29 tackles and a sack in 2008. He has been an underappreciated contributor against the run, but the Texans would like to see him improve on his two career sacks and take his game to the next level. Perhaps this surgery is just what he needed to get moving in that direction.