Robert Griffin III’s recovery is being handled with care, Coach Mike Shanahan says. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan said that while Robert Griffin III remains ahead of schedule in his recovery from the reconstruction of his right knee, he doesn’t want the second-year quarterback to do too much too soon.

The coach earlier this month told NFL Network that Griffin will “set a record for coming back because that’s how hard he works.” But the coach took a more cautious approach Wednesday.

“One thing I don’t want to do, is see anything go too quick,” Shanahan said. “Mother Nature will take its course. That takes time. The thing I love about Robert is that he works the muscles around it and he loves to work, he does everything you ask him to do and then some to get himself ready. But there is a time frame and the ligament takes time to heal. We have to make sure he doesn’t go too quick. We don’t want him to do anything too quickly because then he can set it back.”

Shanahan said Griffin currently is working to strengthen not only the repaired anterior cruciate ligament, lateral collateral ligament and meniscus in his right knee, but the muscles and ligaments surrounding them.

The coach said that he doesn’t allow himself to get emotional over steps of progress that he sees from Griffin, because maintaining an even keel will help guard against allowing the quarterback to make a premature return.

“If I was excited about him doing some type of exercise, I’d think we were putting him in harm’s way,” Shanahan said. “Everybody’s very optimistic and says he’s ahead of schedule, but … you have to let a ligament heal.”

Questioned repeatedly over the decision to allow Griffin to play against the Seahawks after re-injuring himself, Shanahan has said on several occasions that he must trust the player and the team’s medical staff in those situations.

Wednesday, however, the coach let on that he may have learned something from the situation and would handle things differently during Griffin’s comeback.

“The thing we’ll make sure of is that Robert never plays if he’s not 100 percent,” Shanahan said. “If he tells me something, I won’t believe him this year compared to last year.

“That’s just a joke,” Shanahan added with a chuckle. “I think.”

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