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“His accomplishments were amazing,” Hightower said. “That’s something people can strive to; people can strive to do better. The amazing thing that Adrian Peterson taught a lot of people is that regardless of the situation, there’s always going to be a prognosis, but an exception to the rule. I can’t define that, and Dr. Andrews can’t define that for [Griffin].”

To Hightower’s point about the differences in each surgery and recovery, it must be noted that Peterson, Hightower and Griffin each required different repairs.

Hightower tore his ACL and damaged the meniscus. The Redskins released him in August, and he required another surgery on his meniscus, a procedure from which he still is recovering. Peterson suffered the same injuries and also tore his MCL.

Griffin’s injuries required a revision of the ACL reconstruction he had in 2009. Andrews had to repair his torn lateral collateral ligament and build him a new ACL using a patellar tendon graft from his left knee.

Last August, Andrews revised the ACL reconstruction of linebacker Jonathan Goff, Griffin and Hightower’s former Redskins teammate, using the same method.

Goff continues to rehabilitate his knee at the Andrews Institute in Gulf Breeze, Fla., where Griffin is beginning his rehab.

“You have to pay a little bit more attention to that leg,” Goff said about the patellar tendon graft removed from his left (healthy) knee. “They’re just taking out a chunk from your knee, so it’s not the best feeling in the world. But since the beginning, it has been strong and sturdy. It’s just that there’s a fair amount of pain management and soft-tissue work that you got to do to keep it moving.”

Goff has accepted the fact he’ll have to manage his knee for the rest of his career.

“I wouldn’t say it’s mentally taxing or frustrating at all,” he said. “As a football player, the longer you play, the more you’re going to have to do in the offseason to keep yourself healthy throughout the entire season. And even then, with the NFL being a 100 percent injury rate, nothing is guaranteed.”

No guarantees. As Griffin embarks on his rehabilitation, that seems to be the only certainty.

“Just because there’s no guarantees doesn’t mean that you don’t set expectations and you don’t set goals,” Hightower said. “That’s something that, for him, yes, you have to be realistic. But your realism cannot affect your positive outlook.

“You have those feelings — it’s human nature — where you get frustrated. You’re sore, you’re hurting. Things that were so routine to you before are such a challenge. But when you have those high expectations and high goals, when you place that demand on yourself and on your body, it helps you get through those times.”