Pacers guard Paul George suffered a gruesome injury on Friday night in Team USA's intra-squad scrimmage, with fractures to the tibia and fibula in his right leg. But Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline, who had nearly the same injury in his senior year of high school, said George will return stronger.
"Bones typically, when they break, they heal stronger," Hartline told ESPN.com's James Walker after the Dolphins' scrimmage on Saturday. "They calcify, they get even thicker and they become even stronger. So, to me, I felt like I got faster afterwards, because you do so much ankle mobility, so much calf work, you do so much strengthening that you usually don't do and take for granted. You go from being on top, to ground zero and you just rebuild back up. I feel like you get stronger."
Hartline, 27, went through a six-to-eight month rehabilitation program and then was back running. He won two Ohio state championships in hurdling the spring following the injury.
"I was reading everybody saying 'Ah, his career might be over.' His career is not anywhere near over," Hartline said of the 24-year-old George. "He'll be fine. He's a freak athlete. He'll do awesome, he'll work hard. That's my perspective."
Hartline is entering his sixth NFL season and he has missed only four games in his career. He has also posted back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
"I thought my world was over," Hartline said. "I got a commitment to Ohio State. I thought, 'I'm never playing football again.' Sure enough, doctors told me stay to the grind and it will heal. I took care of it, did it the right way and I feel like I came back stronger."
- Chris Mascaro