Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle has a difficult road of rehab ahead of him, but a former NFL doctor with the New England Patriots who also was a head orthopedic surgeon for the Navy Special Forces, has an optimistic view on Waddle’s recovery.

Dr. Matt Provencher, a Fox Sports injury analyst, and a knee and shoulder sports medicine specialist, offered a breakdown of Waddle’s injury and what future he’s facing. Waddle suffered what Alabama coach Nick Saban called a season-ending ankle injury following a tackle on the opening kickoff at Tennessee where his ankle was rolled under a defender during the tackle.

Provencher described it as a very significant right ankle injury.

“He twisted his ankle when it was planted and caught between a player and the turf, and that is significant rotation force across that ankle joint,” the doctor said.

Provencher added that a lot of times these injuries need to be stabilized with plates or screws.

“The good news is there is significant reason for Jaylen to be hopeful, because from our data, and from this injury, Jaylen could come back quite well, and even at a higher level after recovery from this injury,” Provencher said.

Waddle is looking at four to six months of solid, dedicated rehab, Provencher said.

“Jaylen, keep your head up, there’s definitely a reason to be optimistic and hopeful,” Provencher said. “Your season may be done, but with proper rehabilitation, you can crush it at the next level of your career.”