Kicker David Buehler, who landed on the season-ending injured reserve in Week 10 with a right groin injury, has undergone surgery to repair his right hip.
Buehler said the hip had begun bothering him within the last couple of weeks, which prompted him to get an MRI. It was discovered Buehler had torn the labrum in his kicking leg, and surgery was performed on Tuesday.
Kicker Nick Folk, who Buehler replaced last season, underwent a similar procedure in 2009, though his recovery was more hurried, only having his operation in May, causing him to miss the offseason program. Folk struggling throughout the '09 season and was eventually replaced.
"He didn't get a whole offseason to prepare," Buehler said. "I'm glad I got it taken care of now, so I'll be ready to be able to get back and compete."
This summer Buehler lost his placekicking duties to Dan Bailey, but stayed on as a kickoff specialist. He hurt his groin in Week 2, then returned in Week 8, though never quite healthy.
Bailey has booted touchbacks in 21 of 57 kickoffs this year, the first season that kickoffs have been moved up five yards to the 35-yard line. Buehler had a team-record 29 touchbacks kicking from the 30 as a rookie in 2009.
He said he did not yet know exactly when he would be able to resume kicking, but expected to be cleared for the team's offseason program, which begins in March.
"I think I'll be better," Buehler said. "Like (**Rookie of the Year*) *or whatever, where the kid has a broken arm and then comes out and throws it harder. That's what I'm hoping for."