Sam Bradford: Tough recovery ahead

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- A little more than two weeks after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee, St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is set to have surgery, he said Wednesday.

After waiting more than a week so swelling could go down and he could strengthen the knee, Bradford said he will have his ACL repaired Tuesday.

Dr. James Andrews, the same doctor who repaired Bradford's shoulder when the QB was at Oklahoma in 2009, will perform the surgery. According to Bradford, he has yet to visit with Andrews, but the noted surgeon already has reviewed the MRI of the knee and will consult with Bradford the day before the operation.

Bradford is bracing himself for his road to recovery, especially the tough part of regaining range of motion and flexibility. He also has spent time talking to teammates who have had similar injuries.

"I'm not expecting it to be easy," Bradford said. "I know it's going to be tough, but I'm going to do everything I can to get better every day. The best thing to do is just take it day by day and try to get better every day, and in the end, when I'm ready to go, I'll be ready to go."

Bradford was quick to shoot down any attempts at setting a timetable for his recovery. He said he hadn't even thought about the possibility of returning in time for at least some of the spring activities such as organized team activities or minicamps.

The good news for Bradford is that the injury is only to the ACL and he has a clean tear, which he acknowledged could help expedite the process.

"Everything else is intact," Bradford said. "They said everything looks really good. With that injury, sometimes other things happen."

Bradford suffered the injury Oct. 20 against Carolina when safety Mike Mitchell shoved him as he was going out of bounds. He believes his left foot appeared to get stuck in the ground and the rest of his body kept moving forward, causing the tear. Bradford said he has watched the play since and didn't see anything wrong with what Mitchell did.

Likewise, Bradford said he hoped that when Mitchell celebrated on the sideline he didn't know Bradford was hurt but that he appreciated guard Harvey Dahl for sticking up for him after the play.

"It happened in the field of play, and I wasn't out of bounds," Bradford said. "It's not like he came over and tried to kill me, either. I think it was a clean play."

As Bradford embarks on his recovery process, he has no intention of being anywhere but around his teammates. He surprised many by attending practices last week and has been a regular in meetings since the injury. He also has served as a sounding board for fellow quarterbacks Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis and Brady Quinn.

"That's just Sam," coach Jeff Fisher said. "Nothing was said to him at all about coming around, and he just loves it. He wants to support the offense, and help Kellen and Brady and Austin. He's done a tremendous job. He was voted captain, and clearly that's not the reason he's here. He's here because he wants to help."