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Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow on track to return for Week 1

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9), shown Oct. 11, 2020, underwent reconstructive left knee surgery in December. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9), shown Oct. 11, 2020, underwent reconstructive left knee surgery in December. File Photo by David Tulis/UPI | License Photo

May 18 (UPI) -- Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who had reconstructive left knee surgery in December, is expected to be ready for his team's regular-season opener against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 12.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who operated on Burrow last year in Los Angeles, told ESPN the second-year signal-caller is "all systems go" for the Bengals' opener.

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Burrow previously told The Cris Collinsworth Podcast that he fully expected to be on the field for the first snap of the 2021 NFL season. ElAttrache, who is working with the Bengals' medical staff during Burrow's rehabilitation, believes that goal is within reach.

"He's on track for full go for [the] start of the season," ElAttrache said. "He's doing all the work. He's worked his tail off and been an amazingly mature participant in his recovery. He's focused and great to work with."

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ESPN reported that doctors don't want any contact until the nine-month mark, which could lead to Burrow missing the preseason. The former LSU star quarterback, however, remains ahead of schedule in his recovery process.

"We are very happy with his recovery to say the least," ElAttrache said. "Notwithstanding the nature of his injury and extent of his reconstruction, his knee is performing perfectly.

"We just had him tested out here with a high-tech video and biomechanical evaluation and he was ahead of where we anticipated and well into the return to performance phase of his recovery. With him already performing this way, it's 'all systems go' for the start of the season."

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Burrow suffered the significant knee injury during the Bengals' loss to the Washington Football Team on Nov. 22. He underwent surgery Dec. 2.

Before sustaining the season-ending injury, Burrow -- the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft -- started 10 games and completed 65.3% of his passes for 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.

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