Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Rookie running back Dalvin Cook's season is over and he could be looking at a six-to-nine-month recovery for his torn ACL.
The Minnesota Vikings star suffered the brutal injury in the third quarter of a 14-7 loss Sunday to the Detroit Lions. He was trying to escape pursuing Lions safety Tavon Wilson on the play. Cook juked to his right, appearing to get his left foot stuck in the turf. His left leg bent awkwardly and he grabbed at it while falling to the ground. Wilson put his helmet on the football, tackling Cook and forcing a fumble after a 10-yard gain.
Cook, 22, had the third-most rushing yards in the NFL at the time of the injury.
Manhattan Orthopedic Care founder Dr. Armin Tehrany spoke to UPI on Tuesday about Cook's ailment. Tehrany has worked with the team physicians for the New York Jets, New York Rangers and New York Islanders.
"A torn ACL during football is unfortunately a season-ending problem," Tehrany said.
"It is usually a non-contact injury from a twist of the knee. Other tissues, including meniscus, cartilage and other ligaments, can be injured simultaneously."
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters Monday that Cook also suffered a little bit of cartilage damage in his knee. He also could have some damage to his meniscus.
"Like on most of these ACLs, there's a little bit of cartilage, I think meniscus, but, it's nothing. I mean, it's a normal, typical, ACL," Zimmer told reporters.
Tehrany, a knee specialist, described the exact moment he knew Cook likely tore his ACL.
"The moment when he 'cut' to the side and the knee buckled was when it was clear that the likelihood of a torn ACL was very high," Tehrany said.
The New York City surgeon said that if Cook suffered only a torn ACL, he could be out until as late as June or July.
"If the only injury he suffered was a torn ACL, he should expect a full recovery assuming that the surgery goes smoothly and that his post-operative rehabilitation course is uneventful," Tehrany said. "He should be able to be cleared for play between 6-9 months after surgery."
Zimmer said he talked to Cook about the injury on Sunday night.
"About the doctors who we have here and the medical staff," Zimmer told reporters. "How they were able to rehab the last great runner here. I expect him to come back and be the same as he was."
The runner Zimmer was referring to was obviously Adrian Peterson. The seven-time Pro Bowler tore his ACL at the end of the 2011 season. He returned for the 2012 season to lead the NFL with 2,097 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns en route to the 2012 NFL MVP Award.
Peterson tore his ACL on Dec. 24, 2011. He received 18 touches in the Vikings first game of the 2012 season about eight months later, kicking off his MVP campaign.