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Nashville newcomer Jon Pardi says he plans to be—like the title of his latest single—“Up All Night” in the coming days, but it won’t involve any dirt roads or good songs on the radio. Instead, the 28-year-old looks to be spending some wee hours of his nights with an ice pack by his side and a cache of new Xbox 360 games to play while he recuperates from knee surgery.
“I wish I could say it happened during one of those plays with two minutes left to win the game, but it certainly wasn’t as exciting as that,” Jon told Country Weekly the day before his Dec. 18 arthroscopic surgery to repair his meniscus and take out some leftover scar tissue in his left knee. “I was a junior and it was homecoming, and I went up to catch a pass and my knee just popped. It basically ended my football career.”
And while the former Californian has spent the following years trying to ignore the leftover pain of the injury, he says he knew it was time to get it fixed when it began to affect his always-enthusiastic stage performance.
“It really started bugging me when it started affecting my onstage dancing,” says Jon, laughing. “I’d get all into the music and start dancing around and try to do some karate chops up onstage, and before I knew it, I would get stuck in some crazy George Strait position. It wasn’t pretty.”
With the upcoming release of his debut album, Write You a Song, next month and “Up All Night” still making its way up the charts, Jon says getting this particular medical issue out of the way before the new year was important. “I will spend the next few weeks recuperating, working and doing some physical therapy, but also celebrating Christmas,” he says. “I’m planning to get a big ol’ Christmas tree and have a party for all my friends in Nashville. We are going to have turkey and stuffing and eat until we pass out.”
Just don’t play any backyard football, mmmkay?