WASHINGTON (AP) — Robert Griffin III underwent reconstructive knee surgery Wednesday and faces a challenging rehab if he is to return for the start of next season.
The Washington Redskins quarterback had his lateral collateral ligament repaired and his ACL in his right knee reconstructed for a second time. The surgery was performed in Florida by orthopedist James Andrews, who was optimistic that Griffin would be back on the field this fall.
“We expect a full recovery, and it is everybody’s hope and belief that due to Robert’s high motivation, he will be ready for the 2013 season,” Andrews said in a statement released by the Redskins. “The goal of his treatment is to give him the best opportunity for a long professional career.”
Griffin tore the ACL in the same knee in 2009 while playing for Baylor, which could slow the recovery time from his latest injury.
University of Maryland head team physician Craig Bennett said football players typically need seven to 11 months to return from a second ACL reconstruction, but that it often takes up to a year for the ligament to be fully healed.
“Typically your first season back from an ACL reconstruction, there’s a tendency to have some struggles from time to time,” Bennett said.
That’s what made Adrian Peterson one of this season’s most remarkable stories. The Minnesota Vikings running back returned about eight months after tearing an ACL — and nearly broke the NFL’s single-season rushing record.
“I think it gives motivation to everyone,” said Russ Paine, a physical therapist in Houston who worked with the Peterson during his rehab.
Griffin himself sounded an upbeat tone on Twitter just before the surgery began early Wednesday morning.
“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,” he tweeted.
While Griffin heals, the debate will continue as to whether he should have been on the field when he hurt the knee for a final time in the fourth quarter Sunday’s playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Griffin reinjured his knee in the first quarter was obviously hobbled, but coach Mike Shanahan said he trusted the quarterback’s word that all was OK.