When Marcus Lattimore suffered a major knee injury for the second time in as many years last October, many thought his football career was over.
Just three months later, however, he is making it known that he expects to be ready for the start of the NFL season.
According to Dave Birkett at the Detroit Free Press, the talented running back recently received incredibly encouraging news from Dr. James Andrews:
“When Dr. Andrews came in and seen me, he said 'You’re doing remarkable, you’re doing everything you can,' ” Lattimore said. “His words was, ‘You’re going to shock the world.’ That’s what Dr. Andrews said.”
Andrews continued (via Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples):
Lattimore said Dr. Andrews called his progress "nothing short of a miracle."— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) January 22, 2013
Additionally, Lattimore told USA TODAY Sports' Dan Wolken that a return to full health by the start of the NFL season was "my goal, and it's realistic."
The former South Carolina star's draft stock may be up in the air, but there's one thing that's certain: No one will ever question his toughness.
Lattimore tore a ligament in his knee in October of 2011, only to return to the playing field about 11 months later.
Unfortunately, after that impressive comeback, bad luck struck once again just eight games later when he seriously hurt his other knee.
Despite the consecutive major injuries, Lattimore still tallied 2,677 rushing yards on 4.8 yards per carry to go along with 767 receiving yards and 41 total touchdowns during his time in Columbia.
He's clearly talented.
While those who point to Adrian Peterson's insanely productive and fast return from knee surgery undoubtedly have unreal expectations, the Vikings superstar certainly provided hope for players like Lattimore to return at full strength.
And if this encouraging development is any indication, Lattimore is on the way to following in Peterson's large footsteps.