Robert Griffin III having surgery to repair torn ACL/LCL, out anywhere from 6-? months, depending on who you believe

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Robert Griffin III will be having surgery to repair a fully torn ACL an LCL:

Griffin’s recovery is projected at six to eight months, barring any setbacks, sources said. The rehabilitation plan will focus primarily on strengthening Griffin’s quadriceps to help protect and help stabilize the knee, according to sources. The reconstruction of the LCL is considered a complication, but sources said Andrews informed the Redskins it should rehab well during the same six-to-eight-month time frame as the ACL injury.

I would seem to me that Mortensen’s report is coming from the Redskins. I’m not a doctor. My knowledge of ACL tears is limited to the time I’ve spent following sports, but when I hear six to eight months, especially for a player that has already torn the ACL in the same knee once before, the immediate thought that came to mind was “BS.”   Will Carroll, injury expert for Sports Illustrated, suggested a different timeline.

RG3 2

First, Mike Shanahan leaves RG3 in a game in which he could barely walk and was completely ineffective.  Then he holds a press conference (mandatory for him) in which he (perhaps ridiculously) claimed that MRI results were inconclusive. And now the Redskins are giving what medical people are saying is an overly optimistic timeline for recovery, setting up the face of their franchise for fan disdain if he can’t return in time.

Kirk Cousins is a nice young QB, but he ain’t selling season tickets.  That’s all I’ll say about the Skins’ timeline.  Everything about this seems slimy.


  1. rishita says:

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  2. Josh says:

    Kind of late to the party on this story, but (kind of like Jeff below me) I wanted to share personal experience to add a little depth to this reading-in-between-the-tweets saga. I tore my ACL skiing, and got a patellar graft to repair it. I was warned that if I tore it again, they would have to try a different graft, and that it would always be injury prone. I of course then went out and shredded my meniscus about 8 months later. They couldn’t see on my MRI if my ACL was okay, but were concerned that the act that tore my meniscus impacted my ACL graft. They went in and sewed up my meniscus, and checked out the ACL (which turned out to be ok).

    I guess the only reason for saying all of this is that yes, MRI results can be inconclusive, and yes, Shanahan could have just been concerned about the ACL due to RGIII’s history, like my surgeon was.

    More importantly, however, if my surgeon is to be believed, it sounds like RGIII’s knee will be a recurring problem. Two ACL reconstructions on the same knee in five years does NOT sound good. I am actually a little confused about how he will get the same graft done both times. Maybe my surgeon was trying to scare me into taking it easy on my recovery. For RGIII’s sake, I really hope so. I am a diehard Eagles fan, but this saga has the potential to become downright depressing fairly quickly.

  3. Jeff says:

    As someone who has gone through ACL and meniscus reconstruction and have coached players through similar knee injuries, I makes me wonder, like you said, what they actually knew. In my eyes (completely projecting, no evidence) the conversation was, its not for sure, but he’ll probably need surgery when he stops playing this year. If he feels that he can play, great, but there is a chance he’ll tear something and we’ll have to go through the surgery a bit earlier than expect and not on our terms. (we’ve have that exact situation in years past)

    Here’s my concern with recovery. He’s not recovering from one, but two knee surgeries! Taking a BTB Patella Graft from the left and then reconstructing the right! That should definitely slow down the initial healing time. However, Bone-Tendon-Bone grafts heal more completely and faster than cadaver and hamstring since the tendon does not have to fuse to a completely new bone site (but look how it served him last time…).

    Most recoveries that I’ve personally dealt with have been 5-6 months starting basic hitting and interaction drills and 7-8 as 85%-95% playing ability with a return to “full-go.”

    Just my experience. Not saying anything about RGIII’s recovery, but it does sounds fairly accurate if not a month early for someone of his caliber working with the “best” doctors in the world.

  4. ct17 says:

    You have to be nuts to play your franchise QB next year.

  5. WeGotLinemen says:

    “Then he holds a press conference (mandatory for him) in which he (perhaps ridiculously) claimed that MRI results were inconclusive. ”

    Perhaps not rediculously.

    Published: October 28, 2011

    “Dr. James Andrews, a widely known sports medicine orthopedist in Gulf Breeze, Fla., wanted to test his suspicion that M.R.I.’s, the scans given to almost every injured athlete or casual exerciser, might be a bit misleading. So he scanned the shoulders of 31 perfectly healthy professional baseball pitchers.

    The pitchers were not injured and had no pain. But the M.R.I.’s found abnormal shoulder cartilage in 90 percent of them and abnormal rotator cuff tendons in 87 percent. “If you want an excuse to operate on a pitcher’s throwing shoulder, just get an M.R.I.,” Dr. Andrews says.

    He and other eminent sports medicine specialists are taking a stand against what they see as the vast overuse of magnetic resonance imaging in their specialty.

    M.R.I.’s can be invaluable in certain situations – finding serious problems like tumors or helping distinguish between competing diagnoses that fit a patient’s history and symptoms. They also can make money for doctors who own their own machines. And they can please sports medicine patients, who often expect a scan.

    But scans are easily misinterpreted and can result in misdiagnoses leading to unnecessary or even harmful treatments.”

    1. The point was that Shanahan likely knew full well that there was significant damage to the ACL, but was less than forthcoming, knowing that once that press conference was over, he wasn’t talking to the media for quite some time. I just don’t buy that he knew as little as he let on.

  6. Dr. James Andrews released his official statement post-surgery and said that he needed to completely reconstruct the LCL as well as do some repair work to the previously repaired ACL. This would suggest that he did not need to do a full reconstruction of the ACL, which is why I think you are hearing more optimistic timelines for return.

    In the same statement, Dr. Andrews, the foremost authority on these injuries, said that he fully expects Robert to be ready for the start of the 2013 season.

    Whats so silly about it?

    1. It’s noteworthy that Andrews is employed by the team.

  7. TylerD says:

    Terrell Thomas had his second ACL injury happen and the Giants took a full year to bring him back and within a week he had injured the ACL again and some fans and media were questioning if that was to fast to bring him back. I’m no knee Doc, but when Thomas messed up his knee it looked pedestrian to how RGIII’s Knee collapsed sideways trying to field a ball no less. I don’t trust the Redskins at all to handle this young man’s injury the right way. Like others have said although I do not look forward to playing him for the next 10 years I don’t want to see Synder and Co. Screw up a young talent.

    1. dre says:

      You’re no doctor. PERIOD

  8. Brian says:

    Something still bothers me about starting RGIII:
    Was there an MRI for the knee sprain when it occurred in Baltimore?

    My feeling on this, between James Andrews non corroboration/sudden corroboration of Shanahan’s point of view, and the “inability” to distinguish between prior damage indicates a mishandling of RGIII’s injury prior to the game.

    Maybe I just want to blame it on Shanahan, but this does smell fishy to me.

  9. brisulph says:

    As I said elsewhere, I hope they don’t rush him back a month or two two too early, and he shreds it again. If that happens, he will only be able to get back into the league as a pocket guy, and even then a pocket passer who will always have the “what if his knee stayed healthy” tag being applied.

    If I’m Snyder, I am very clear to my coach and medical staff that RG3 is back only when he is as strong as possible for the knee. Griffin is 22! They could have another 9 or so years of crazy high level play, but not if they further wreck that knee with stupid decisions.

  10. Dez Bryant's Probation Officer says:

    He’s a a physical freak. He will recover from the surg3ry in short order.

  11. mjoedgaard says:

    I think this pierce is great about the whole situation:

    1. Yeah, that is good stuff.

  12. Chad Stanton says:

    Yeah, as a Cowboy fan I was hoping that the Redskins somehow, someway screwed up their opportunity to have a game-changing franchise QB we’d have to play for 10 years but I was hoping they’d do something stupid like draft Tannehill or fall in love with Kirk Cousins. Not shred the man’s knee and potentially damage a stellar career

    1. Agree. Not the way you want the kid to fail if you’re an opposing fan.

      1. dre says:

        He’s gonna be sweeping both the boys and iggles next year. Don’t worry. Honestly you all are so scared. So worried for another team’s player. Stop faking.

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