Robert Griffin III surgery: Doctor optimistic Redskins QB will be ready for 2013 season
Robert Griffin III (10) of the Washington Redskins walks off of the field injured in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedEx Field on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland. / Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
WASHINGTON The doctor who performed the knee surgery on Robert Griffin III says it is "everybody's hope and belief" that the Washington Redskins quarterback will be ready for the 2013 season.
Orthopedist James Andrews said Wednesday that Griffin "had a direct repair" of the lateral collateral ligament and "a re-do of his previous ACL reconstruction."
Andrews says he expects a full recovery because of Griffin's "high motivation."
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Griffin reinjured his knee in Sunday's playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. He previously tore the ACL in the same knee while playing for Baylor in 2009.
Before the surgery, RG3's father said that his son's "ACL is intact" but not strong enough for an NFL quarterback.
"Robert's ACL is intact, but not enough for his profession,'' Robert Griffin II told USA Today in a text message. "You and I could be fine. But he is an athlete. So they will replace."
Now comes RG3's next challenge: a race against time to get healthy before the beginning of next season.
Griffin's recovery time will take several months at least but could extend into next season, depending on the extent of the damage. The process could also be speeded up because Griffin is known as a focused, determined competitor who would be expected to take his rehab as seriously as possible.
Griffin was optimistic before he entered surgery, tweeting early Wednesday:
Thank you for your prayers and support. I love God, my family, my team, the fans, & I love this game. See you guys next season.— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) January 9, 2013
Athletes generally need nine to 12 months to make a full recovery from a torn ACL, although Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson made a remarkable return this season about eight months after tearing an ACL and nearly broke the NFL's single-season rushing record.
Russ Paine, a physical therapist in Houston who worked with Peterson during his rehab, said the running back's timetable for returning to competition was in fact "pretty traditional."
"What's non-traditional is him almost breaking the rushing record," Paine said in a phone interview Wednesday.
Griffin reinjured his knee at least twice in Sunday's playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, prompting a national debate over whether coach Mike Shanahan endangered Griffin's career by not taking the team's franchise player out of the game sooner.
CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman said Shanahan was foolish to let the hobbled Griffin play.
"Due to one of the worst coaching decisions in recent NFL postseason history, Shanahan -- in a horribly stupid, terribly dumb piece of coaching malpractice -- left a helpless Griffin in the game. He didn't stand a chance," Freeman wrote.
The first major injury to the knee came in 2009, when Griffin tore the ACL in the third game of the season while playing for Baylor. Griffin missed the rest of the year but returned in 2010 and won the Heisman Trophy in 2011.
Griffin sprained the LCL last month when he was hit by Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata at the end of a 13-yard scramble. Griffin missed one game and returned to play three more while wearing a bulky knee brace, his mobility clearly hindered.
2013 NFL Playoffs: Wildcard Weekend
Then, on Sunday, Griffin hurt the knee again as he fell awkwardly while throwing a pass in the first quarter against the Seahawks. He remained in the game, with Shanahan saying he trusted Griffin's word that all was OK.
Griffin finally departed in the fourth quarter, after the knee buckled while he was trying to field a bad shotgun snap.
The No. 2 overall pick in last year's draft, Griffin was one of several rookie quarterbacks to make an instant impact on the NFL this season. He set the league record for best season passer rating by a rookie QB and led the Redskins to their first NFC East title in 13 years.
But he also had to leave three games early due to injuries two because of his knee and one because of a concussion and missed a fourth altogether because of the knee.
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