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Newsday's Bob Glauber goes the extra yard for the inside scoop on the NFL.

Knee doc optimistic about RGIII

Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington

Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins practices during the rookie minicamp. (Getty) (Credit: Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins practices during the rookie minicamp. (Getty))

Even if Robert Griffin III requires surgery on torn ligaments in his right knee, there’s a good chance he’ll be at or near full strength in time for training camp.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Leon Popovitz, founder of the New York Bone & Joint Specialists, said in an interview with Newsday that Griffin would likely have an excellent prognosis if the injuries he suffered in Sunday’s wild card game against the Seahawks required surgery.

The Washington Post reported late Monday that an MRI revealed partial tears of the anterior cruciate ligament and the lateral collateral ligament. He was scheduled to get further tests today in Pensacola, Fla., where noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews has his practice.

“In good, solid hands, potential of recovery and returning to full level is excellent,” Popovitz said.

But Popovitz said repairing the LCL is sometimes more complicated than the ACL. Griffin had his ACL reconstructed in 2009 when he was at Baylor. He won the Heisman Trophy after the 2011 season and was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft.

“The LCL is causing further instability into the joint,” he said. “That may be tolerable for a weekend warrior or a guy who goes to the gym, but it is very important for a high level athlete. The LCL is a much thinner ligament, so when it’s torn, the ramifications can be very serious. Even though it’s a smaller ligament, it’s a powerful ligament. Injuries to the LCL often go hand-in-hand with porterior laterial injury that includes the very back portion of the knee structures, which are complex and multi-layered.”

Popovitz said the normal recovery from this type of surgery would be between six months and a year, although he said Griffin would have a greater chance of a quick recovery because he is an elite athlete. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson underwent ACL surgery last December and returned in time for the 2012 season, nearly breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. 

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