Armando Salguero

Ryan Tannehill’s timetable for return from knee injury becomes more clear following surgery

The timetable of Ryan Tannehill’s return to football is becoming more clear.
The timetable of Ryan Tannehill’s return to football is becoming more clear. ctrainor@miamiherald.com

Ryan Tannehill is scheduled to have reconstructive knee surgery Friday (today), according to two sources close to the Miami Dolphins quarterback.

And now that we know the date of the surgery we can plausibly estimate when it is Tannehill will return to play for the Dolphins -- or anyone in 2018.

The window for return to play, meaning completely past rehabilitation and ability to get on the field, is between 10 and 12 months following reconstructive surgery. The overall average time period is 10.8 months, according to Dr. Shawn Anthony, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine expert at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

This window factors in both allografts (ligaments harvested from donor bodies) and autografts (havested from patient’s own body).

So let’s do some math ...

If Tannehill takes 10.8 months from today to return to play he’ll be 100 percent ready for football by the third week of June 2018. That means he might miss the team’s mandatory minicamp but be ready for the start of training camp in July 2018.

If Tannehill is a super quick healer (he is) and attacks his rehabilitation (he will) and the surgery is a work of art (unknown) then Tannehill could be ready to play by early June 2018. That would mean Tannehill is able to join his teammates in the mandatory minicamp and obviously be ready for the start of training camp.

But suppose things don’t go smoothly -- and for a guy who has had two ACL tears in seven months, we’ve seen things go sideways for Tannehill already -- then it can take up to a year before Tannehill is ready to play football. If this is the scenario, that would mean Tannehill misses the start of the Dolphins’ 2018 training camp but would likely be able to get back on the field by the start of the regular season the second week of September 2018.

The Dolphins, you should know, are optimistic about an extraordinarily quick Tannehill return. They’re optimistic about the sun shining through during the eclipse as well because, well, this is a very optimistic organization.

Anyway, coach Adam Gase this week told ProFootballTalk Tannehill would be ready for the team’s 2018 offseason program. That typically begins sometime in April.

Hard to fathom Tannehill would be ready for play that fast.

Follow Armando Salguero on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

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