The doctor will save you now

Matthew Williams for ESPN

Dr. James Andrews operated on Rajon Rondo in February.While we wait to find out more about the rehab of Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, ESPN the Magazine takes an inside look at the man who repaired his torn ACL in February: Dr. James Andrews.

Surgical fellows in coats and ties strive to stay by his side. Presently, Andrews is nowhere to be seen. One of the fellows looks around, then says: "To be honest with you, he disappears. Eighty percent of our energy is just trying to keep up with him." Then from somewhere offstage, Foghorn bellows, presumably into his iPhone: "Hey man! He's got a partial ligament injury that probably hasn't quite declared itself yet. Here's what we're gon' do ..."

Andrews' days, and often his nights, are punctuated by such calls. The contact list on his iPhone has surpassed 3,000 names, among them athletes, agents, trainers, other orthopedists, coaches, GMs, owners. Within a six-month span this year, the list of damaged and diminished players who trekked to one of Andrews' two clinics -- the newer facility in Pensacola, the older and more established in Birmingham, Ala. -- included Redskins QB Robert Griffin III; MLB pitchers Matt Harvey, Sean Burnett, Jonny Venters, Jake Westbrook and Joel Hanrahan, along with second baseman Scott Sizemore and slugging wunderkind Bryce Harper; NBA draftee Nerlens Noel, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo and Pacers forward Danny Granger; and dozens of other athletes undisclosed by their agents or teams. When his phone rings, it is part of Andrews' ethic that he never doesn't pick up.

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