Dr. James Andrews is the 'go-to surgeon' for star athletes

By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

The real hero of "Thursday Night Football" this week? It won't be Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson or Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

It's orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, the man who rebuilt their knees. He got both of those athletes back on the field in record time in the past two seasons.

NFL Network profiled Dr. Andrews prior to Thursday's game between the Vikings and Redskins.

Andrews has more than four decades of experience in sports medicine and has been on the cutting edge of advances in repairing torn ligaments and the rehabilitation that follows.

For high-profile athletes from Tom Brady to Brett Favre, he has become the go-to specialist. He earned his reputation helping to repair major league pitchers' shoulders using arthroscopic surgery.

Andrews' biggest accomplishment might be the surgery on Peterson's knee after the 2011 season and rehabbing him to return in time for the start of the 2012 season, during which he ran for more than 2,000 yards.

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