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Dr. Andrews: Most players can’t recover like Peterson, RG3

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Dr. James Andrews, the renowned surgeon who rebuilt Adrian Peterson’s knee before his MVP 2012 season, and who has said Robert Griffin III is making “superhuman” recovery from his own reconstructive knee surgery, would like everyone to understand something: Peterson and Griffin are the exception, not the rule.

Andrews told Newsday that a couple of high-profile players making great progress from torn ACLs should not be taken as a sign that a torn ACL is the kind of injury that players can always expect to shake off over the course of an offseason and come back as good as new.

“The last thing I’d want people to be thinking is people are coming back quicker and quicker,” Andrews said. “The few individuals that you know of who have come back quickly are what I call ‘superhuman’ athletes . . . There are only a few of those superhuman athletes out there. Their healing potential for some reason is much better than the average patient, but you can’t extrapolate their ability to come back from an injury to the average athlete.”

Andrews added that even the greatest of athletes can have a long and difficult rehabilitation process after a major knee surgery, and the next NFL superstar to blow out his knee won’t necessarily come back as strong as Peterson did, or as progress as quickly as Griffin seems to be.

“They’re all different,” Andrews said. “There’s still a big spectrum in how they heal and how they come back . . . It’s hard to predict recovery from an ACL surgery, and to say that we’re getting them back quicker than we used to would be false information from my standpoint.”

That’s an important reminder for fans, and for the players themselves: A player who pushes himself to come back on Peterson’s timetable is probably going to do more harm than good. Going from ACL to MVP will always be the exception, not the rule.

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55 Responses to “Dr. Andrews: Most players can’t recover like Peterson, RG3”
  1. tokyosandblaster says: May 25, 2013 12:31 PM

    That’s because most players don’t use illegal drugs.

  2. latenightroach says: May 25, 2013 12:33 PM

    But could they have done it without HGH? Highly doubtful.

  3. myasylum11 says: May 25, 2013 12:38 PM

    He forgot to mention Brett Farve 🙂

  4. nyyjetsknicks says: May 25, 2013 12:38 PM

    Derrick Rose: You couldn’t have come out and said this earlier!

  5. thewarrenmoon says: May 25, 2013 12:40 PM

    He meant White people.

  6. tampaskinsfan says: May 25, 2013 12:42 PM

    I’d like to believe the good doctor but all the Griffin hating “experts” have already said he’ll fail so I guess I should look for a new team. Too bad, Griffin could have been good.

  7. tampaskinsfan says: May 25, 2013 12:44 PM

    HGH can only do so much. Haters act like this stuff cures cancer.

  8. bigdinla says: May 25, 2013 12:47 PM

    This is an instance where I support using hgh.

  9. gotampabay52 says: May 25, 2013 12:47 PM

    Come on Revis

  10. ozymandias121 says: May 25, 2013 12:48 PM

    How do you think an 80 year old senile man is still able to perform surgery? PEDs.

  11. ozymandias121 says: May 25, 2013 12:49 PM


  12. daysend564 says: May 25, 2013 12:49 PM

    Not without the assistance of some quality PEDs.

    The more money you have, the higher quality you can get and the quicker you are back

  13. gonavybeatarmy says: May 25, 2013 12:50 PM


  14. sabanissatan says: May 25, 2013 12:51 PM

    It’s a shame that Griffin’s career will be cut in half due to how the Redskins use him. He’s too small to take the hits that he does.

  15. calvinhobbes5000 says: May 25, 2013 12:54 PM

    Thanks for stating the obvious, Dr. Andrews.

  16. thereallogicalvoice says: May 25, 2013 12:54 PM

    When do they start testing for HGH?

  17. rlj2170 says: May 25, 2013 12:58 PM

    Ithink dr. andrews should have someone speak for him instead of laying innuendos of how good a doc he is

  18. dylanssongwriter says: May 25, 2013 12:59 PM

    Nobody has done lazy jumping jacks on stage like bob griffin this soon after acl surgery! Amazing recovery!
    Bob Griffin reveals his favorite ice cream @ 3 o’clock

  19. nj9er says: May 25, 2013 1:01 PM

    I think it’s more than HGH. There’s a lot of talk about stem cells for Peterson, Manning, and RG3. These procedures are done outside the US and not a lot long term effects are know so Andrews won’t admit to it publicly. The average athlete doesn’t make or won’t make $10M a year. The average athlete won’t sell tickets and jerseys like Manning, Peterson, or RG3 so they probably aren’t worth risk for stem cells or the money.

  20. millersirish1986 says: May 25, 2013 1:07 PM

    Good ole deer antler spray!!

  21. wsperegoiv says: May 25, 2013 1:08 PM

    Everyone keeps saying PEDs but perhaps none of u have ever heard of something called hard work and determination

  22. pixelito says: May 25, 2013 1:09 PM

    Peterson didn’t tear the same knee twice.

    Let’s see RG3 play a down before we go comparing him to Peterson.

  23. thestrategyexpert says: May 25, 2013 1:19 PM

    Ahh yes “superhuman” athletes, such a fascinating topic. Thanks for the info…Doctor. *rolls eyes*

    So what percentage of people qualify as “superhumans” at recovery of injuries?

  24. linvillegorge says: May 25, 2013 1:21 PM

    Panthers LB Thomas Davis ended up tearing his ACL 3 times. The second was definitely due to trying to rush back too soon. Plus, the thing to remember is that RG3 isn’t back yet. Peterson came back and put up a season for the ages. RG3 hasn’t hit the field again yet. Everyone was raving about how fast Davis was coming along in his recovery too. The rehab process has to be managed carefully. Better safe than sorry. In the big picture, missing a couple of games to be sure is better than potentially derailing a career.

  25. thebigtim2012 says: May 25, 2013 1:32 PM

    If hgh is prescribed by the dr and is used under the drs guidance and care is it still a ped or is it just part of the treatment?

  26. cliffordc05 says: May 25, 2013 1:49 PM

    I don’t understand why HGH should not be made legal for athletes who are rehabbing under an approved doctor’s supervision. They should not be allowed to compete until their hormone levels are normal and would need to be subject to rigorous testing during recovery. If the drug aids the recovery then there should be a way to legally incorporate it into the process.

  27. peytonsneck18 says: May 25, 2013 1:50 PM

    can we have more rg3 articles………SAID NO ONE EVER!!!!

  28. pnut87 says: May 25, 2013 1:50 PM

    I’ll say that RGIII recoverd like Peterson when he steps onto the field week 1 and plays like the first tear never happened.

  29. albertmn says: May 25, 2013 1:55 PM

    This has to be a conundrum for logical. He was one of the loudest claiming HGH for AP, but now there will be people claiming HGH if there is a similar recovery by RGIII. If one fast recovery supposedly equals HGH, then a 2nd similar recovery must equal HGH. Or, neither equal HGH. But, you can’t claim HGH in one case and not the other, unless you are a two faced liar.

  30. hotzy21 says: May 25, 2013 2:13 PM

    It’s a little early to compare peterson’s recovery to griffin’s. Has RG3 come back and played an entire season in MVP form? Last I heard he still hasn’t passed tests to cut and sprint…

  31. citizenstrange says: May 25, 2013 2:15 PM

    Don’t you remember when Roethlisberger said he had a broken back before the Super Bowl against the Cards? That took less than a week to heal up so well that there was no x-ray evidence that it had ever even happened.

  32. noring4youstill says: May 25, 2013 2:43 PM


  33. earlcampbellrules says: May 25, 2013 3:12 PM

    Anyone who pins enough HGH can recover at an amazing rate.

  34. jsbrasha says: May 25, 2013 3:37 PM

    I think fans are smart and interested enough to hear a little more about the factors that affect recovery time form ACL surgery.

    I am not a surgeon, but my understanding is that high blood flow to the reconstructed area, contained inflammation, limited scar tissue formation and, of course, pace and quality of physical therapy are all key predictors.

    Any surgeons out there willing to teach us something?

  35. henry53 says: May 25, 2013 4:04 PM

    Wes Welker did pretty well after destroying his ACL and MCL in 2009 week 17. He finished the 2010 season with 86 receptions for 848 yards and seven touchdowns in 15 games played (11 starts).

  36. croghan1919 says: May 25, 2013 4:12 PM

    IR’d players that probably will have some kind of surgery and players that have surgery in the offseason should be allowed to use PED’s or HGH if their doctors think it will help. Bruises,pulls and strains?…. nope. Only if the injured has some sort of procedure to repair or rebuild.
    Randon test the rest 365 days a year.
    Sign here: NFLPA _______________
    NFL _______________

  37. davidsmj22 says: May 25, 2013 4:20 PM

    Hopefully Marcus Lattimore is one of these “superhuman athletes”. Would love to see him have a productive career

  38. GenXJay says: May 25, 2013 4:54 PM

    These two individuals are a precursor in the human evolution continuum. Soon, everybody’s pinky toe will be obsolete too!

  39. marko959 says: May 25, 2013 5:30 PM

    HGH? Adrian Peterson? Anyone who has followed his career from high school, to college, to the pros knows what a special athlete he is. Dr. Andrews said that his knee looked like a newborn’s when he operated on it. Highly unusual for a running back that has taken the punishment he has. You would see many more players coming back from their ACL injuries sooner if HGH was all it took. Just accept the fact that there are genetic freaks in this world, and Adrian Peterson is one of them.

  40. rgledz says: May 25, 2013 6:52 PM

    Tokyosandblaster why are you throwing stones in a glass house? If you want evidence of somebody that uses HGH look no further than your teams own Clay Matthews. AP was a stud in high school, a stud in college and a stud in the NFL. Clay was a stud in high school, average in college, then a star all of a sudden in the NFL??? Hmmm, he just happened to play alongside two other linebackers at USC who just happened to get busted for using HGH……then he makes a quantum leap in performance when he hits the league??? Amazing…..and not suspicious at all. You want to see an HGH user just watch your beloved Pack and you’ll see one every week.

  41. briang123 says: May 25, 2013 7:11 PM

    Derrick Rose things RGIII should sit out until the 2015 season.

  42. croghan1919 says: May 25, 2013 7:31 PM

    marko959 says:
    May 25, 2013 5:30 PM

    I dont CARE if AP or RG used/is using PED’s or not.
    Are they fast healing physical freaks? Good for them, but then that means that some are not fast healers.
    My previous point is that if a players doctor(s)think that using them might help the healing process after the player has been cut on then it should be allowed.
    And not just to get the player back to playing faster, but to improve the players quality of life.
    Thats the doctor’s job, not the Leagues.

  43. dmgkm says: May 25, 2013 7:31 PM

    “Their healing potential for some reason is much better than the average patient”

    yeah nothing to do with HGH

    stop saying that HGH should be legal for the healing of injuries because it’s used for much more than that. players use large doeses of it to increase their muscle mass, in the same way that steroids are used. people say oh HGH is good for you it should be legal, well steroids are also legal to some degree. ever see commercials for testosterone for older men. testosterone is steroids, only people on roids use a much higher dose than what doctors prescribe in testosterone for men in their 40’s and 50’s. same thing is done with HGH and football players. Peterson may have used HGH to recover for his knee injury, but he never got off the stuff and rode with it through it the whole season. but it’s not like he’s alone. probably 90% of the league is on it.

  44. jackrabbitz says: May 25, 2013 7:36 PM

    Should spell it PEDerson

  45. kerryc21realty says: May 25, 2013 7:55 PM

    Now I expect to see people hating on Peterson like they do RG3, are you gonna rip him too? Why not? Seems so easy for you haters to go after Griffin for some reason, lets test Peterson for HGH and antler spray, come on !

  46. vikings28 says: May 25, 2013 8:26 PM

    People that say Peterson took HGH could be right, but I’ve never heard people say that they know. I mean that stuff would’ve been leaked. I could be wrong!
    I think AP is one of the hardest working people in the NFL and he’s tougher than nails!! He played with a sports hernia!! Most people shut it down for 6 weeks, so gotta give MVPeterson the benefit of doubt!! If you don’t agree please let me know!!!!

  47. beerndrums says: May 25, 2013 8:27 PM

    I don’t think AP can even spell HGH

  48. obmig says: May 25, 2013 9:03 PM

    If they can run faster and jump higher than most athletes, it’s not hard to imagine that their legs would also recover quicker than most athletes.

  49. gnomad says: May 25, 2013 11:03 PM

    If HGH speeds recovery time it is not a PED it is medicine. Athlete or not, to not use medicine that can shorten a painful recovery process with minimal side effects would just be stupid. This is not cheating.

    I wouldn’t begin to speculate if either used it, but if it speeds recovery the NFL would be barbaric not to allow it in the case of surgical reconstructions.

  50. skinsfansince71 says: May 25, 2013 11:08 PM

    I find it amazing that so many people have seen AP’s and RG3’s medical files,I thought that was private information!!!

  51. skinsfantom says: May 25, 2013 11:16 PM

    after this year people will stop saying hgh and replace it with RG3 because HE’S…………JUST……………..THAT…………….DAMN…………………….GOOOOOOOOD.

  52. yousuxxors says: May 25, 2013 11:17 PM

    go read the medical journals … HGH doesn’t do anything. anabolic steroids would help them heal but they are pretty much impossible to best drug test with.

  53. officialgame says: May 26, 2013 8:12 AM

    Nobody knows what if anything RG3 is using in his rehab regimen. Truth told if he was really “super human” he wouldn’t have torn up the same knee twice in three years. But I do know that if he goes against nature in the short term it will have negative effects in the long term.

  54. wwwmattcom says: May 26, 2013 8:16 AM

    Didn’t Adrian Peterson have 8 months to recover? Yes it happened, maybe he felt really good and was doing well at 5 months, but he still had 8 months in total. Dr. Andrews is just trying to save his butt. If I were a skins fan I would want Andrews off my sideline and keep him in the operating room.

  55. tiger2471 says: May 26, 2013 4:58 PM

    It’s all about genetics, period. Some people have better genes than other people.

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