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Andrews sounds a cautious note about RG3 comeback

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Even though every seemingly routine procedure which results in anything other than death is referred to as a “successful surgery,” celebrity surgeon Dr. James Andrews seems to be trying to pump the brakes on his latest high-profile operation.

After yesterday’s procedure on Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, Andrews did an interview with SiriusXM Radio this morning in which he gave an update that sounded less optimistic than some.

“I really can’t talk specifically about an injury from just the privacy act of that young man’s career but obviously I had to operate on his knee yesterday,” Andrews said in comments distributed by SiriusXM. “And it’s a shame but he had a re-injury to his ACL. He’s already waiting on me this morning to start his rehab and start his recovery. A fine young man and a great talent. So we’re looking forward, trying to get him back ready for next season.”

That’s well short of “He’s the next Adrian Peterson and will be running 4.3 40s any day now,” and a sensible position to take for a man who has become rich and famous by stitching together the knees of the rich and famous.

Asked later in the interview about the chances of a player returning to his previous elite form after such a surgery, Andrews stayed clear of specifics about Griffin.

“Well, you know, we talk about ACL reconstructive procedures [as] one of our best operations we do in sports as far as the overall results,” he said. “Ninety-five percent is just a figure that comes to head right now, success rate.  That’s across the board.  Now, if you take a NFL running back that’s got to depend on his knee function probably at the highest level, there’s about 55 percent of them that are still playing football after what we would call a successful ACL surgery, about 55 percent still playing actively in the NFL after two years.

“So is that a failure of the ACL surgery? No, but that’s a failure of that running back losing a step and losing ability to cut on a dime and is not able to play. So it’s not as rosy as what it might look depending on the high level sport the further you go up the ladder, to try to play football, for example, in the professional league after an ACL operation.”

Obviously, RG3 is not a running back. But much of his game is built on his ability to move, and throw on the move.

So while medical advances tend to make us think that such rehabs are commonplace, and special cases like Peterson help convince they’re possible, the reality is that Griffin coming back to look exactly as he looked before is far from a given.

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51 Responses to “Andrews sounds a cautious note about RG3 comeback”
  1. nygiantsfan22 says: Jan 10, 2013 1:44 PM

    Is it just me, or is it time for Dr. Andrews to keep his mouth shut?

  2. broadstbully says: Jan 10, 2013 1:45 PM

    If he wasn’t accurate, I’d agree with the penultimate sentence/paragraph. But the kid is downright surgical. He’ll be fine. Lost step be damned.

  3. geniusesq says: Jan 10, 2013 1:46 PM

    But, running backs have short shelf lives anyway. You probably would find similar stats for those who are not playing in two years even without any surgery.

  4. S.Nevada says: Jan 10, 2013 1:47 PM

    Where is your report detailing the news that The Eagles initiated last offseasons cap penalties and Mara grabbed them and bulldozed it through?

  5. riggz91 says: Jan 10, 2013 1:47 PM

    Obviously ever1 is different but tearing the same ligament twice is definitely not a good sign. It didn’t work out well this year for Terrel Thomas. I know, very different positions . RGIII is a talented and smart enough to stick around though. I’m sure he’ll come back strong and be killing my giants for years to come, just might take a little longer this time.

  6. stoolerz says: Jan 10, 2013 1:51 PM

    I know Logical, It was an NFL conspiracy to hurt RG3-Troll

  7. eagleswin says: Jan 10, 2013 1:52 PM

    Apparantly Snyder isn’t paying him enough to say only the most rosy and positive things. Every Redskins fan was taking the reports Tuesday that he he’d be 100% recovered for the 2013 season as a divine commandment and you were a hater if you said otherwise.

    The reality is that the situation is far more uncertain than the Redskins would ever admit. The best case scenario can happen but the odds that it does are not that great.

  8. thegreatgabbert says: Jan 10, 2013 1:54 PM

    Griffin’s knee went out without anyone really hitting him though. That has to be worrisome because it indicates a chronic degenerative condition. All the guys come back from surgery “stronger than it was before”. But it isn’t.

    What doesn’t kill you doesn’t make you stronger. It just makes you older and weaker. Or makes you wish you were dead.

  9. logicalvoicesays says: Jan 10, 2013 1:55 PM

    The NFC Washington, Home of the Redskins and the three stooges — NY, Philly and Dallas. Redskins NFC #1 seed next season. RGIII NFL MVP.

  10. giants56 says: Jan 10, 2013 1:56 PM

    In other words….The surgery was a success, but the outcome maybe a failure…

  11. pettergriffen says: Jan 10, 2013 1:58 PM

    sounds like his knee was jacked up. besides at some point hes gonna have to learn not to run only so many above waist shots qb can take as well any running qb always gains less rushing yards year after year as their careers progress

  12. whatnojets says: Jan 10, 2013 1:59 PM

    I’ll ask my sanitation man for a confirmation.
    He knows everything!

  13. pixelito says: Jan 10, 2013 1:59 PM

    Can we finally begin to focus on the many other talented young players who still have careers ahead of them?

  14. packermama says: Jan 10, 2013 2:02 PM

    The bottom line is this ACL re-injury was always a risk if RG3 was playing. Andrews knew it and went on the record saying he had concerns. After the fall out from, “I never cleared him to play.” came out, he back tracked. All of the former players and coaches being interviewed now are supporting the party line of “it was Robert’s decsion.” I think that is true. But players harden their self-protective instincts just to play this brutal game. Then, in the middle of a play off game, some lose all perspective about the dangers of their injuries. I think Shanahan should have made the call. He could have saved RG3 from this re-injury and a uncertain future.

  15. 81buckeye says: Jan 10, 2013 2:04 PM

    I think you are reaching for a story here. What percentage of the 45% of RBs not playing 2 years after surgery would still be playing even with healthy knees? Do we ever hear about the 4th, 5th, or 6th string RBs who get cut/released, have surgery then never play again. Dr. Andrews is saying exactly what he should be saying. Even among professional athletes, very few are at the “freak” level of AP or RG3.

  16. ccjcsr says: Jan 10, 2013 2:04 PM

    I guess Adrian Peterson is the exception, as the Redskins fans hold their breathe!

  17. justintuckrule says: Jan 10, 2013 2:04 PM

    A guy who tears one ligament that succeeds running straight ahead is MUCH different than a guy who tears two ligaments that runs backward, side to side and leaves himself unprotected.

  18. bigbluecrew420 says: Jan 10, 2013 2:06 PM

    NFC East is a wrap fot the giants already. Washington will have no QB no deacent draft picks and the oldest Defence in the history of the NFL. Philly also has no QB and surprising horrible Defense. Dallas has no QB no D and Jerry.

    Sounds very logical to me :)

  19. Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop says: Jan 10, 2013 2:11 PM

    Apparantly Snyder isn’t paying him enough to say only the most rosy and positive things.

    “Team Doctors” are not paid by the team. They actually pay the team for the title.

  20. nflofficeadmin says: Jan 10, 2013 2:14 PM

    Griffin doesn’t move laterally too much in his game anyway, he moves in straight lines… very quickly.

  21. bhop49 says: Jan 10, 2013 2:15 PM

    I realize that most NFL fans and writers don’t have much time to watch every NFL teams, especially teams which they are not fans of but, I guarantee you that anyone who watched RGIII play quarterback for the the Redskins this season will tell you that his efficiency will not deminish in case of him losing a step, as long as his knee will be strong and stable enough to plant and throw. His best attribute is by far his accuracy. Please watch his worst statistical game prior to the injury against the Steelers and see the ball placement. His best days are ahead folks, Bank on it!

  22. leafeaterx says: Jan 10, 2013 2:23 PM

    This is basically what I’d expect from a doctor, namely realism and conservatism. I would not expect him to be blowing the AP super-recovery smoke, as that was an anomaly. Hence the surprise performance…

    Basically it looks like Griffin’s injury is not a career death sentence, nor is it something trivial. He has major work ahead to get back into form over the next several months. Nobody knows for sure at this point how long it’ll take and how close he’ll return to where he was 2012 pre-injury.

    I don’t think we’ll have much of a clue until summer really. Waiting sucks…

    Get better Robert!

  23. bengals69 says: Jan 10, 2013 2:25 PM

    Dr. Andrews just told the world what my daughter’s surgeon told us prior to her ACL reconstruction. 95% success but no guarantees on ultimate performance in speed and agility. RG3 has a great doctor and will be committed to his rehab, he should return to the game at a high level of athleticism.

  24. jwreck says: Jan 10, 2013 2:26 PM

    giants56 says: Jan 10, 2013 1:56 PM

    In other words….The surgery was a success, but the outcome maybe a failure…
    ________
    A quarterback running a 4.5 instead of a 4.3 is not failure. It means Griffin will still be as fast as Luck, Newton, Tannehill, Wilson, and Rodgers.

  25. wheresmyjuice says: Jan 10, 2013 2:30 PM

    Seems like that 4th round pick for a backup QB wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

  26. thelastpieceofcheese says: Jan 10, 2013 2:30 PM

    It’s comical the continuous speculation over the prognosis of RGIII’s knee operation by folks that have a better chance to win the lottery than being accepted into medical school.

  27. tyshy says: Jan 10, 2013 2:31 PM

    I’m so tired of hearing about RG3’s knee. John Elway played his ENTIRE career without an ACL.

  28. zeedoubleyou says: Jan 10, 2013 2:33 PM

    Boy am I glad my Colts took Luck right about now. RGIII wouldn’t have lasted 6 games behind that Indy O-line this season.

  29. jaysay3178 says: Jan 10, 2013 2:37 PM

    RG3 Has Peaked as an NFL Player

  30. craigkintexas says: Jan 10, 2013 2:40 PM

    My hope is that RG3 will learn from this experience. I have my doubts about Shanahan. If Robert will rehab like Peterson, he’ll do great for years to come. If not, his ego will end his pro career.

  31. watchfullhose says: Jan 10, 2013 2:47 PM

    To me the larger story is that this is the second time he has injured his ACL (1st was in 2009 at Baylor).

    Often the 1st torn ACL is repaired and is actually stronger than before (one way is to pull a piece of hamstring through the knee which is stronger than the ACL). If that tears, then the chances for recovery become DRASTICALLY lower the second time.

    Put it this way: lots of players recover from ACL and LCL injuries. How many pro-sports players have you heard of that recovered from such and injury twice? Not very many.

  32. jwreck says: Jan 10, 2013 2:56 PM

    2. Oldest? Really? Let’s just compare front seven here. G-Men: Umenyiora (31) Tuck (30), Austin/Canty/Joseph (25, 30, 24 . wow, 24? I guess being 340 pounds makes you look way older), JPP (25).
    __________
    Forgot the linebackers: Blackburn (30), Boley (31), Kiwanuka (30), Rivers (27).

    Point re-made.

  33. justintuckrule says: Jan 10, 2013 2:57 PM

    @bluecrew420 – the reason the Giants haven’t won 4 SBs in the Eli era is for the exact reason you state. Our division is just too darn competitive. If we had a division like the Pats with 6 built-in wins per year, we’d have a playoff bye every year too. Perhaps next year we catch a break if Philly and Washington are both in down years. Obviously, Dallas will never be better than 9-7 (i.e. their our version of the Pats-Jets). Of course, as a football fan, I’d much rather see RG3 come back healthy.

  34. Mr. Wright 212 says: Jan 10, 2013 3:03 PM

    watchfullhose says: Jan 10, 2013 2:47 PM

    To me the larger story is that this is the second time he has injured his ACL (1st was in 2009 at Baylor).

    Often the 1st torn ACL is repaired and is actually stronger than before (one way is to pull a piece of hamstring through the knee which is stronger than the ACL). If that tears, then the chances for recovery become DRASTICALLY lower the second time.

    Put it this way: lots of players recover from ACL and LCL injuries. How many pro-sports players have you heard of that recovered from such and injury twice? Not very many.
    ————–

    Thomas Davis of the Panthers is the only one who comes to mind — at least a guy who came back to somewhat resemble his old self — but Terrell Thomas has torn his ACL 3 times; albeit twice in one knee and once in the other, and it would be a miracle if he’s anything close to what he was in 2010 after two straight ACL injuries and two years out of football.

  35. jikkle49 says: Jan 10, 2013 3:05 PM

    Colin Kaepernick is a guy RG3 should learn from when it comes to running.

    Kaepernick does a lot of running but he also knows when to not push it, slide, and give himself up before taking a big hit.

    Unless you’re going for a 1st down on 3rd down or trying to score a TD there is no reason to take a hit and go for that extra bit of yardage.

  36. nagaswan says: Jan 10, 2013 3:09 PM

    He’s a surgeon, but he doesn’t know that when a knee bends the opposite direction it is designed to there will be damage?

  37. gcbean says: Jan 10, 2013 3:18 PM

    Sorry RGIII that you don’t play for a team that has interest in your long term career. However, as a Rams fan, thanks for your top caliber potential to get the Rams some extra 1st round picks!!!

  38. jwreck says: Jan 10, 2013 3:18 PM

    bigbluecrew420 says: Jan 10, 2013 2:06 PM

    Washington will have no QB no deacent draft picks and the oldest Defence in the history of the NFL. Philly also has no QB and surprising horrible Defense. Dallas has no QB no D and Jerry.
    __________
    1. Washington is missing their first round draft pick this year (No. 22). I’m sure you’ll agree that the NYG defense is much better than Washington’s. Giants have three of their own 1st rounders on defense (JPP, Amukamara, Philips). Washington has two (Orakpo, Kerrigan). Are you telling me that the #22 pick this year would make DC’s defense as good as NY’s? In other words: first rounders are great, but good drafting and free agency should not be underestimated.
    2. Oldest? Really? Let’s just compare front seven here. G-Men: Umenyiora (31) Tuck (30), Austin/Canty/Joseph (25, 30, 24 . wow, 24? I guess being 340 pounds makes you look way older), JPP (25), Blackburn (30), Boley (31), Kiwanuka (30), Rivers (27).
    Redskins: Orakpo (26), Carriker/Cofield/Jenkins/Bowen (28, 29, 24, 28) (29), Riley (24), Fletcher (102?), Kerrigan (24). Point Made.
    3. Philly doesn’t have a QB, but as an NFC East fan, are you really not worried about what that team could do with some competent coaching?
    4. You win this one. Dallas has some pieces, but their window seems pretty much closed.

  39. dukemarc says: Jan 10, 2013 4:13 PM

    Let’s be honest, the likelihood that RG3 comes back with even 90% of his old speed is remote. Thankfully he throws the ball pretty good and has time to develop that skill.

    The question is whether or not he can change his mindset to “take off” out of the pocket moving forward.

  40. jwreck says: Jan 10, 2013 4:14 PM

    jikkle49 says: Jan 10, 2013 3:05 PM

    Colin Kaepernick is a guy RG3 should learn from when it comes to running.

    Kaepernick does a lot of running but he also knows when to not push it, slide, and give himself up before taking a big hit.
    _________
    Agreed, but Kaepernick is also 6’5, which is a big plus. I don’t want to open the door to misconceptions about Griffin’s size however: he is exactly the same size as Rodgers, Romo, Favre, and Steve Young; substantially bigger than Brees, Wilson, Vick, and Joe Montana; and slightly shorter but as thick as Eli and Matt Ryan.

    Also, he is the same size as Sanchez, Fitzpatrick, and Ponder.

  41. totallydisgusted says: Jan 10, 2013 4:19 PM

    He’s tempering his words. Thats last time he spoke to the media he opened a can of worms. RGIII is a freakish athlete he’ll still be an elite QB. He’s just gonna have to cut down on the designed runs.

  42. jwreck says: Jan 10, 2013 4:40 PM

    Me 4:14 PM
    Also, he is the same size as Sanchez, Fitzpatrick, and Ponder.
    __________
    Was supposed to read “Also, he is the same size as Sanchez, Fitzpatrick, Ponder, Grossman and Tarvaris Jackson. But that really doesn’t help my point.”

    More unhelpul points: bigger than JP Losman, Rex Grossman and Marcus Vick.

  43. ham1 says: Jan 10, 2013 5:01 PM

    I cant stand the Shanahans anymore after this.
    Kyle get any interviews yet? Didnt think so.
    I dont believe anything that comes out of their mouths. Wish Danny would fire their butts.

  44. egal99 says: Jan 10, 2013 6:21 PM

    Feel really bad for RG3, but at least this has finally shut up all those obnoxious Redskins fans that were driving the rest of us crazy. A little humility goes a long way.

  45. jpj13 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:45 PM

    Has everyone forgotten that RG3 still has an extremely accurate and strong arm, as well as the ability to read coverage? He can still be just as deadly from the pocket if he needs to be. His speed and agility are a nice bonus, but I guarantee that even if you take that away he will still be a real good quartback.

  46. mott7777 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:46 PM

    Still loving that trade the Rams pulled off last year!

  47. jwreck says: Jan 10, 2013 9:49 PM

    mott7777 says: Jan 10, 2013 8:46 PM

    Still loving that trade the Rams pulled off last year!
    __________
    There’s no reason not to love extra first round picks, but it isn’t like the Rams are going to be getting top 10 picks this year and next.

    In the spirit of up-and-coming team solidarity, I sincerely hope the Rams become a competitive franchise again. But my point is that it isn’t like the Rams pulled a fast one on anybody.

    Even if the Griffin returns in October at only 90 percent of his former speed, the Redskins are still at least a 9-7 team, meaning the Rams are looking at the 22nd pick this year, and a pick in the late teens or early 20’s next year. While having more than one first rounder is never anything less than awesome, Griffin is clearly worth the price Washington paid for him.

    That’s not to say the Rams made a mistake, or were ripped off in any way in the trade, just that spending three first round picks on a well-rounded young franchise quarterback is never a mistake, especially in light of the quarterback drought the NFL will be experiencing over the next two years.

  48. bigblackanvil says: Jan 10, 2013 10:06 PM

    Well I pray he will be okay and resume such a promising career. That being said I’ll be darned if I read another one of the speculative articles again. See ya in August. HTTR

  49. briank01 says: Jan 10, 2013 11:02 PM

    jpj13 says:
    Jan 10, 2013 8:45 PM
    Has everyone forgotten that RG3 still has an extremely accurate and strong arm, as well as the ability to read coverage? He can still be just as deadly from the pocket if he needs to be. His speed and agility are a nice bonus, but I guarantee that even if you take that away he will still be a real good quartback.

    Read coverage? That remains to be seen

  50. allidoiswin55 says: Jan 11, 2013 2:47 AM

    Everyone so quick to anoint RG3 as the next hall of famer was to blame for this. He was obvious hurt but because of the pressure of the city he felt obligated to go out their and almost ruined career because of it.

    Listen to his tone in his interview for a couple. Weeks, can you see agitation or pressure! ” im the starting QB because it’s my team and I give us the best chance to win ”.. His comments about whose to blame… Read between the words look at the tone. That team and city wore the kid out. Should have never played.

    Also he doesn’t have good mechanics he might consider complete a good number but a lot of those were sprint out plays that him and the wr find wholes. NOT timing routes. He can be a good pocket passer but he is not yet! Stop saying that he throw off his back foot and sidearm alllllllll the time.

    I believe he can come back and do damage but your desperation both region and media to anoint a savior of a franchise could ruin him forever.

  51. jwreck says: Jan 11, 2013 6:18 PM

    allidoiswin55 says: Jan 11, 2013 2:47 AM

    Everyone so quick to anoint RG3 as the next hall of famer was to blame for this. He was obvious hurt but because of the pressure of the city he felt obligated to go out their and almost ruined career because of it.
    _______
    Seriously? Blaming Washington because Robert Griffin loves football may be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read on this site. Griffin is a competitor and a winner, that’s why he continued to play through his injury. Though he, Shanahan, and Andrews should have been smarter and more careful about his condition and ability to play; no one can succeed at the NFL level without the drive, ambition, and desire to stay in the game that Griffin has.

    Griffin played hurt at Baylor, should we blame the faculty and student body into pressuring him to play? Roethlisberger plays hurt and limping all the time, but he only does it so that the people of Pittsburgh will like him, right?

    Did the people of the San Fransisco metropolitan area force Ronnie Lott to have his finger cut off? Peyton tried to come back from his neck injury and play for the Colts last year, was that because of an inferiority complex? And I’m sure MJ played through the flu in the 97 Finals because he wanted Chicago to think he was tough (Although given their treatment of Cutler, he might not have been far off on that one).

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