Medical opinions from doctors often vary, so it's no surprise that there are conflicting media reports about when New England Patriots left guard Logan Mankins will return from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Mankins tore the ligament in the AFC Championship game win over the Baltimore Ravens, played through the injury in Super Bowl XLVI and underwent surgery a few weeks later. The standard recovery time from a torn ACL is around nine months, which would put his return at some time in November. That's why ESPN's James Walker has Mankins as a candidate to open the season on the physically unable to perform list.
We're still over a month away from the Patriots having to make a decision on Mankins, but it would not come as a surprise if the All-Pro guard opens up on the PUP list. A player cannot be placed on the "Reserve/PUP" list without first appearing on the "Active/PUP" list. The club is unlikely to push Mankins' recovery from major knee surgery, so by placing him on PUP, the Patriots will have greater roster flexibility at the start of the regular season should they realize that he needs another six weeks or more of recovery time.