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Wright, the Washington University professor, is the principal investigator of a leading ACL revision study that’s funded by the National Institutes of Health.

“When I’m doing a revision in a young, active person like RG3, if they’ve had their previous patellar tendon, my choice is to go to their opposite knee, and take that graft and it has worked very well,” Wright said.

The study is incomplete, but Wright said 5 to 8 percent of all primary ACL reconstructions fail. The failure rate for revisions is 13 to 15 percent.

“When you look at big groups, they just don’t do as well as they did after their first one,” Wright said. “We don’t know why that is. It doesn’t mean that any individual patient won’t have a great outcome, but in general if you look at 100 re-dos, they don’t do as well as 100 first-timers.”

Even if Griffin returns to the level of performance that earned him a Pro Bowl nomination as a rookie, his knee is likely to suffer lasting physiological effects.

“Whenever you have this done, you never have a normal knee,” said Siegel, Virginia Tech’s orthopedic surgeon. “You never have a knee that’s 100 percent. You may have an athlete that gets back Adrian Peterson-style and is able to compete and looks good, but I think it would be unusual for him to feel great, like he has a normal knee.”

There are precedents for Griffin to return and play well. Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton, New York Giants receiver Domenik Hixon and Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis each returned to the NFL after ACL revision surgery.

Wright is eager to add Griffin’s name to that list.

“I’m just like everyone else around the country watching this play out and hoping he defies the big-number statistics and is the person that does just well after this one as he did after his primary [reconstruction], which, obviously, he did fantastic,” he said.