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Green Bay Press-Gazette (USA Today Network) Interviews Dr. Mandelbaum About Packers QB Aaron Rodgers' Knee Injury

Aaron Rodgers doesn’t need to prove anymore how tough he is. At a certain point, Brett Favre didn’t, either.

But Rodgers is an NFL quarterback, and if NFL quarterbacks can play without undue risk that they might make their injury worse, then they play. It’s what leaders do and part of what makes the great ones great.

Rodgers' status against the Minnesota Vikings will come down to whether he has pocket mobility despite his injured left knee. He had enough last week in the second half against Chicago to slide around like Tom Brady. That’s enough for him to play this week, too.

“(There) is not a direct association with (pain and) the degree to which the ligament is torn or the knee is unstable,” said Dr. Bert Mandelbaum, physician of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team and sports medicine specialist at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles. “The pain is more a question of, he was hit and (maybe) he’s got a bone bruise as an associative injury. You can have a mild sprain and a bone bruise and it hurts like the dickens.”

Mandelbaum said he prefers grading knee injuries on a continuum of 1 to 10, rather than the more common Grade 1 (mild) through Grade 3 (severe). Where a sprain falls on the continuum depends on how much the ligament is stretched or torn, and whether there’s collateral damage such as bone bruises and cartilage tears.

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