Good news for Dolphins fans, as NFL Network's Ian Rapaport has reported that it is unlikely quarterback Ryan Tannehill will need to undergo full reconstruction surgery for the knee injury he suffered against the Arizona Cardinals, and instead will continue to rehab and perhaps even take the approach one former NBA superstar took to get back to playing form.
The Dolphins declined to comment on the report, but there will be another MRI done on Monday to confirm the suspicions that Tannehill's knee will not require surgery.
Rapaport cited sources close to the situation, quoting them as saying that the rehab “is going so well that those involved believe he will not need a full reconstruction prior to the 2017 season.”
However, Miami's franchise QB will likely need to wear a knee brace while playing.
Tannehill, 28, suffered a partial tear in both his ACL and MCL after taking a hard hit from Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell late in the third quarter of their Week 14 matchup. Backup QB Matt Moore came in and finished the game, and speculation began as to whether Tannehill would play again in 2016.
Ultimately, the answer turned out to be no, and Moore played in Miami's first playoff appearance since 2008, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers and putting the Dolphins into offseason mode. The question on everyone's lips was the status and fate of Ryan Tannehill.
Since then, Tannehill has been working on strengthening his knee, doing exercises and - according to the Miami Herald - visiting Dr. James Andrews, who is known as one of America's top specialists in repairing damaged ligaments.
In Rapaport's report, he reveals that Tannehill has also taken to basketball to try and strengthen his injured knee for sudden movements, and he is also contemplating going to Germany to undergo a procedure known as “Regenokine, a form of platelet-rich plasma therapy made famous by Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Essentially, it takes a patient's blood, spins it to separate the platelets, then is re-injected into the knee.”
Known to NBA fans as the "Kobe Procedure," the treatment seemingly healed Bryant's weak knees and led him to having a comeback season that was truly awe-inspiring, and he routinely returned to Germany every offseason to have the procedure repeated in order to maintain the new strength.
If Tannehill does go this route, he could find himself back in form sooner than anyone might expect. Kobe Bryant is a champion and for him to take this treatment into such high regard speaks volumes to its effectiveness.
Basketball is harder on the knees because of the sudden stops, jumps and constant turning, so as long as he takes care to avoid taking another hard hit to the knee, Tannehill should be ready and raring to go by the time training camp rolls around.
Clearly, the treatment would not be the only thing that Ryan Tannehill and Kobe Bryant would have in common. They both have an incredible pain tolerance and are warriors for their sport. That alone should be highly respected.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung
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