Cornerback Cedric Griffin talked about his second ACL surgery in less than 12 months for the first time on Friday after being voted the Vikings recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.
Griffin tore the ACL in his right knee in his second game back this season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee in the NFC Championship game last January.
Griffin discussed his rehab and what the past 12 months have been like for him with beat writers today. Here is some of what he said:
On his emotions after tearing ACL again: "It wasn’t really tough. It’s an injury. This is football. Someone is always going to get hurt. It’s a pretty serious injury but at the same time, I’ve been through it before. It’s been really good. It hasn’t been a downer. I haven’t got discouraged about it. It’s just another injury and I’m healing from it."
On whether the second time is easier: "No question. It helps a whole lot. This last year was my first time so I took it a little tougher. I was kind of a little more resentful towards some things. But this year it went a lot more smoother just because I know what happened, how I have to rehab and what I need to get back. I know all of that now. That’s why I’m doing a little better."
On where he's at in his rehab: "I’m two months and three weeks out. I’m back in the weight room doing leg lifts and in the pool running. I’m a little ahead of schedule from last year ... well, this year actually. Kind of funny. But I’m doing well. The process has been going really well for me. I’m in the next stage of running on the turf with a brace. That will probably be next week."
On his timetable to return: "It’s like the same as last year. I have no timeline really. I’m just out here trying to get better and listen to [assistant athletic trainer Rob Roche] and let him guide me through this whole deal because he did a great job last year and I’m sure he’s going to do another good job this year."
On whether any part of this rehab is easier: "The whole process has been easier. Everything I’ve been doing has been a step ahead of where I was on my left one. The process is easier just because I know what I can do and what I can’t do. I can trust myself more. The first time I was a little timid doing some things. This time I’m kind of full speed ahead."
On whether he can be same player as before the two surgeries: "No question. It’s all about how you work. That’s life man. If you get fired from a job, then you can go to another job and be successful. It’s the same way as injuries. It depends on how hard you work. I’m a hard worker, I’m a competitor. I won’t let anyone discourage me or tell me that I can’t do something. That’s how I’ve been my whole life."
On what he learned from first ACL injury: "Just stay encouraged really because everyone wants to talk about the knee, everyone wants to talk about, ‘Are you going to be able to come back?’ It’s a long process. Don’t get down on yourself. I’m just going to stay positive the whole time and I’m going run with it."
On not showing same frustration he did in Saints game: "The only time [I was upset] was when it happened during the Saints game. On the bench, I was frustrated, I had some resentment, I was mad, I was angry at people. It cleared up once I got in the locker room. I realized what I was doing and how I was acting. That’s just not who I am. This one was nothing like that. When I hurt it, I knew I tore my ACL. I was like, ‘Let’s just get my rehab going.’"