Marcus Lattimore optimistic

INDIANAPOLIS -- South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, who tore three major ligaments and dislocated his right knee against Tennessee in October, may be ready for the 2013 NFL season.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews told ESPN's Stephania Bell in an interview at the NFL scouting combine that Lattimore is ahead of schedule with his rehabilitation and there's a possibility the running back could take the field in the fall.

"He can play if everything continues to go well," Andrews said. "He's ahead of the schedule for somebody with that type of injury."

On Tuesday, USA Today Sports reported that Lattimore was three months ahead on his rehab, according to Andrews.

"I want to be an inspiration," Lattimore told USA Today Sports. "To let people know that with hard work and when you trust in God, you can come back from anything and do anything."

Said Andrews:
"He's a delight. He has the finest character equal to any athlete I've ever treated."

Lattimore tore his ACL, LCL and PCL and dislocated his right knee when he was sandwiched between two Tennessee defenders on Oct. 28. He has been rehabilitating and training at Athletes' Performance Institute in Pensacola, Fla.

Running backs at the combine are scheduled to go through their medical examinations Friday.

Lattimore ran for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2010 for South Carolina. He played just seven games in 2011, running for 818 yards before being injured. He had 662 yards last season before being hurt in the ninth game of the season.