Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall has returned to Twitter today, exactly one year since his last tweet. In his first tweet back, Mendenhall merely said, “hello”, but in his second tweet he thanked all of his well wishers and added, “My knee has healed wonderfully.”
My knee has healed wonderfully, thanks for all the well wishes!
— Rashard Mendenhall (@R_Mendenhall) July 13, 2012
Mendenhall, who suffered a torn right ACL in the 2011 regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns, likely should have used the word, “healing”, instead of “healed” though, as it would be hard to believe that he is 100% recovered and ready for training camp just 6 months removed from his surgery.
As I pointed out in a post earlier this week, Dr. Neil Ghodadra, a noted orthopedic surgeon, said in an interview on NFL Network that he thinks a running back needs eight months at least to get through an ACL injury. More specifically, Ghodadra said, “Studies have shown that NFL running backs usually get back to playing at about ten and a half months after the injury.”
Even though the recovery of Mendenhall appears to be going well, and even possibly ahead of schedule, it is the psychological aspect that Ghodadra points to as being one of the toughest barriers for running backs coming off the injury.
So while it is good to see Mendenhall back on Twitter and updating his progress, I fully still expect him to start training camp on the active PUP list and be moved to the reserve PUP list once the regular season starts. That means the Steelers former first round pick would miss the first 6 weeks of the regular season at a minimum, and likely even more. In my opinion, a return of Mendenhall to the 53 man roster prior to week 10, would put him in the “freak” category, but after-all, he did return to Twitter on Friday the 13th. How freaky is that?