Robert Griffin III out of surgery to repair two ligaments in his right knee

January 9, 2013

Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has emerged from about five hours of surgery to repair the anterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments in his right knee, two people with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday.

Orthopedic surgeon James Andrews began the surgery to repair Griffin’s LCL about 7 a.m. and determined that his ACL – the same ligament Griffin tore as a sophomore at Baylor University in 2009 – also was in need of repair.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether  Andrews had to completely reconstruct either ligament, or whether he was able to repair them. The Redskins have declined to provide any details on Griffin’s prognosis or surgery, or even confirm that Griffin indeed had the procedure.

But multiple people with knowledge of the situation confirmed that the procedure would take place and two said it has been completed. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on behalf of the team.

Griffin on Tuesday traveled to Gulf Breeze, Fla., to have his knee examined by Andrews, and the surgeon concluded that the quarterback had at least partially torn his previously-sprained LCL and required repair. The decision was made that during the surgery, Andrews would examine Griffin’s ACL, which also was believed to have at least a partial tear.

Griffin is expected to remain in Florida for the foreseeable future. He will continue to be monitored at the Andrews Institute for Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine outside of Pensacola. The initial six to eight weeks of recovery time are considered key to his rehabilitation, one person with knowledge of the situation said.

It’s not yet known precisely how long it will take for Griffin to recover. Three high-profile orthopedic surgeons familiar with the type of procedure Griffin had – but not involved in his case – said the quarterback could face a lengthy road back.

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan on Monday cited the rapid recovery of Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, who tore his ACL against Washington on Dec. 24, 2011, and recovered by the start of the 2012 season. Peterson fell nine yards shy of the NFL’s single-season rushing record.

But, like the medical experts, people within the Redskins organization also believe it is optimistic to expect that Griffin could return to full strength by the start of the 2013 season in September.

Griffin suffered a Grade 1 sprain of his LCL on Dec. 9 and missed one game before returning for the final two regular season contests. He wore a bulky brace and lacked his usual speed and mobility.

He aggravated the same injury at some point in last Sunday’s playoff loss to Seattle. Initially, he appeared to hurt it while rolling to his right and trying to throw back across his body in the first quarter. Griffin hobbled through the next 2-1/2 quarters before he was  sacked for a 12-yard loss in the fourth quarter.

On the following play, Griffin scrambled for a loose ball and his knee buckled without any contact. He left the game for good, and several hours later, an MRI suggested at least partial tears to both ligaments.

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Mark Maske · January 9, 2013

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