Ryan Broyles' ACL recovery a lot different this time around

Posted Feb 16, 2013

Having already gone through an ACL rehab following an injury his senior season at Oklahoma, Ryan Broyles is feeling good about his current progress

Ryan Broyles tweeted a picture of himself in a running pool at the Detroit Lions' training facility in Allen Park a couple weeks ago with a simple message attached to it: "First Day running! I'm on my way!"

The second-year Lions receiver is all too familiar with this reconstructive ACL recovery process. Last year, he went through the same thing with his left knee.

In a way, that experience prepared Broyles for the tough months ahead, and has him optimistic he'll be back and even better in 2013.

"I definitely know where I need to be in Week 4, Week 8, Week 12 and things like that," he told right before an autograph session at WXYT-FM's SportsFest Saturday.

"I'm still in the pool and getting stronger every day. I have a lot more time around (Allen Park) this year to prepare myself for the season. I'm taking it step by step and enjoying the process, really."

When Broyles tore his left ACL at Oklahoma his senior season, he didn't become a Lion until he was five months into his rehab. This time around, he's had the benefit of a NFL-caliber training and rehabilitation center at his disposal from the outset and has been under the close watch of team doctors and trainers.

Ryan BroylesBroyles said when finally got back to 100 percent healthy on his left knee about a month into the 2012 season, it actually felt stronger than it did before.

In fact, a lot of athletes who have gone through modern reconstructive ACL surgery tell a similar story. The knee actually feels stronger and more stable once the muscle around it is built up.

"I could definitely tell there was more stability (in my left knee) and my right one feels just the same," Broyles said. "I have to continue to build the muscle around the joint to keep it safe, but it's sturdier than the one I was born with."

Broyles suffered the ACL tear to his right knee against the Colts Dec. 2. His surgery occured two weeks later than it did when his tore the left ACL at Oklahoma, but he says he's right on pace with where he needs to be to get back for the start of the season.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is the poster boy for ACL recoveries.

He had reconstructive ACL surgery in late December of 2011 – three weeks later than Broyles had his surgery this year – and was able to start Week 1 of the 2012 season and came nine yards short of breaking the NFL's single-season rushing record.

With the Lions able to monitor Broyles' progress every step of the way this time around - like the Vikings were able to do with Peterson – Broyles is hopeful for the same kind of recovery.

He thinks he'll come back stronger than he's ever been with his new knees.

The Lions are hopeful for the same outcome.