Hopeful thinking is not the same as a diagnosis. But if Robert Griffin III is cut from the same cloth as Adrian Peterson, the Washington quarterback’s optimism after hurting his knee means his hope to be back just as fast could come true.
Griffin spoke as if he expected he would play next year before heading into surgery for his complicated knee injury on Wednesday morning.
With various reports out that Griffin has hurt several ligaments in his knee, including his lateral collateral ligament and possibly his anterior cruciate ligament, Griffin went into surgery at 7 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to The Washington Post. Earlier tests showed that the LCL was definitely damaged, but the fate of the ACL would not be known until surgery began, according to reports.
Recovery time for the respective injuries varies. While an ACL tear used to sideline players for up to 12 months, surgery and a strong recovery has had some players back on the field in six to eight months. LCL injuries, meanwhile, can be much more complicated, with surgeries not necessarily able to fix the problem completely, according to The Post.
It is unknown to what extent Griffin may have torn the ligaments, as his knee was already weakened from a ligament sprain a few weeks earlier. Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that both ligaments were torn and needed to be repaired completely by reputed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday morning, although Mortensen put the recovery time at just six to eight months.
The possibility of an LCL and ACL tear looks bad for those hoping Griffin will be back by the start of next season, but several other NFL stars have recently bounced back quickly from serious knee injuries. Peterson, who nearly broken the NFL’s single-season rushing record on a surgically repaired knee this year, tore his ACL at the end of last season but came back in time to start the next year for the Vikings. The Patriots’ Wes Welker also beat prognostications for an ACL injury, returning after just seven months.
Griffin appeared to be hopeful for a similar quick recovery, saying on Twitter before his surgery that he was looking ahead to next season.
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 09, 2013
Griffin tore his ACL in the same knee in 2009, when he was a sophomore at Baylor University.