Feb 18, 2013; Gulf Breeze, FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore rehabs at the Andrews Institute Orthopedics and Sports Medicine following his October 2012 injury tearing his right anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and lateral collateral ligaments. Lattimore declared himself eligible during a press conference back in December 2012 for the 2013 NFL Draft and plans to attend the NFL scouting combine this week in Indianapolis. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Lattimore Impressing Dr. James Andrews With Speed of Rehab

Former South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore is ready to make the leap to the NFL and he is hoping that the devastating knee injury that ended his collegiate career will not hurt his chances of making it in the pros. By all accounts, Lattimore appears to be ahead of his rehab schedule and ready to impress the NFL scouts.

A big reason for Lattimore’s speedy recovery is the help that he is receiving from renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

For those who are not familiar with Dr. Andrews, he is the man that was instrumental in Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson’s unbelievable recovery from a torn ACL prior to his near historic season in 2012. Andrews performed a surgery similar to Peterson’s on Lattimore.

Now, Andrews is hoping he can have the same impact on Lattimore, who has made an incredible impression on the doctor.

“Well, I happened to be watching that game on Saturday afternoon as I remember. I saw the injury, and I knew right then that was a terrible injury,” Andrews said.

“He got hit from the inside, and that tears up all of your ligaments, dislocates your knee, sometimes it gets the main nerve over there. He’s fortunate he didn’t get that. I’ll tell you about Lattimore: He’s a real joy to help take care of, and that kid’s got as much character as any athlete I’ve ever worked with. I describe it by saying ‘joy,’ and he’s motivated, working every day. He’s way ahead of the game. And I’m almost his No. 1 fan trying to cheerlead him back and hope I can get him back for next season. It remains to be seen whether he can play next year or not.”

It would be shocking if Lattimore did not start the 2013-14 NFL season on the PUP list, but if Adrian Peterson has taught us anything, it is to never count anyone out — especially with Dr. Andrews on their side.

Lattimore was considered a first-round prospect before his final college season and if he is fully healthy there is no reason to believe he doesn’t have the talent to succeed.

It will be very exciting to see Lattimore once he is able to work his way back to the NFL field.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: 2013 NFL Draft Dr. James Andrews Football Marcus Lattimore South Carolina Gamecocks