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If Adrian Peterson can do it, maybe Robert Griffin III can, too.
Peterson set an incredible standard this season for NFL players returning from major knee surgery, nearly breaking the NFL single-season rushing record. Griffin need look nowhere else for an inspiration as the Washington Redskins quarterback begins the road back from an operation Wednesday on two ligaments in his right knee.
"I think it gives motivation to everyone," said Russ Paine, a physical therapist in Houston who worked with the Peterson as the Minnesota Vikings running back went through rehab.
Griffin had his lateral collateral ligament repaired and his ACL reconstructed for a second time. The surgery was performed in Florida by orthopedist James Andrews, who was optimistic that Griffin would be back on the field this fall.
"We expect a full recovery, and it is everybody's hope and belief that due to Robert's high motivation, he will be ready for the 2013 season," Andrews said in a statement released by the Redskins. "The goal of his treatment is to give him the best opportunity for a long professional career."
But no two athletes or knee surgeries, for that matter are exactly alike, so pinning down a date for Griffin's return is an inexact science. Complicating matters is that Griffin tore the ACL in the same knee in 2009 while playing for Baylor.
University of Maryland head team physician Craig Bennett said football players typically need seven to 11 months to return from a second ACL reconstruction, but that it often takes up to a year for the ligament to be fully healed.
"Typically your first season back from an ACL reconstruction, there's a tendency to have some struggles from time to time," Bennett said.
Colts' Arians remains hospitalized
Coltsoffensive coordinator Bruce Arians remains hospitalized as doctors try to determine the extent of a health problem that has now forced the cancellation of at least one of his scheduled interviews to be a head coach.
Doctors are still trying to diagnose exactly what is wrong with Arians, who was expected to spend a fourth consecutive night in a hospital Wednesday, according to a league source familiar with the situation.
Arians, a 60-year-old prostate cancer survivor, has been complaining of dizziness and migraine headaches, conditions doctors believe is related to an inner-ear infection, the person told the AP.
Around the league
Seahawks • Seattle signed veteran kicker Ryan Longwell and defensive end Patrick Chukwurah after placing Steven Hauschka and Chris Clemons on injured reserve. Longwell last kicked for Minnesota during the 2011 season. Chukwurah has not played in an NFL game since 2007 with Tampa Bay.
Packers • Wide receivers Jordy Nelson (ankle) and Randall Cobb (flu) should be ready for Saturday night's NFC divisional playoff game against San Francisco despite missing practice Wednesday.
Panthers • Carolina hired New York Giants senior pro personnel analyst David Gettleman as its new general manager to end a lengthy search to fill the position. Gettleman replaces longtime Panthers GM Marty Hurney, who was fired after Carolina's 1-5 start.
Chargers • San Diego hired Tom Telesco from Indianapolis to replace fired general manager A.J. Smith. Telesco, 40, spent the last 15 seasons with the Colts, most recently as vice president of football operations.
Saints • Coach Sean Payton signed a five-year contract extension that will run through the 2017 season. The team did not release financial details of the deal. Payton had agreed to the deal in principle on Dec. 29.
Browns • A person familiar with the meeting says Rob Chudzinski, Carolina's offensive coordinator the past two seasons, interviewed Wednesday with the Browns for their head coaching position. Chudzinski had two previous stints as an assistant with Cleveland.
• Baltimore at Denver, 2:30 p.m., Ch. 2
• Green Bay at San Francisco, 6 p.m., Ch. 13
• Seattle at Atlanta,11 a.m., Ch. 13
• Houston at New England, 2:30 p.m., Ch. 2