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Hercules Mata’afa’s ACL tear is, apparently, not that bad

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As far as ACL tears go, I guess. Probably still hurts like hell.

NCAA Football: California at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

We told you earlier today that undrafted free agent defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa suffered a torn ACL during the Minnesota Vikings’ OTAs on Wednesday afternoon. On the bright side, there’s apparently at least one person that doesn’t seem to think Mata’afa’s injury isn’t that bad.

On the downside, that person is his agent, who probably isn’t a doctor and likely doesn’t even play one on television.

Kenny Zuckerman, the agent for Hercules Mata’afa, had this to say to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press after the injury happened.

“It’s a bad injury, but it’s the best of the worse,’’ Zuckerman said. “I mean, it’s still an ACL tear, but he’ll come back sooner than 90 percent of most ACLs.’’

At this point, no timetable for surgery has been established, as team officials are still waiting for the swelling to subside before making anything official.

Mata’afa’s injury reportedly happened on kickoff coverage, and it was a non-contact knee injury. Even if his injury isn’t as bad as “90 percent of most ACLs,” the most optimistic time table isn’t going to get him back on the field to contribute anything in 2018. Figuring that Dalvin Cook is just now getting back into 11-on-11 drills eight months after tearing his ACL, it would appear the best-case scenario would have Mata’afa ready to go by the time OTAs come around next season.

Hopefully Mata’afa’s agent is on to something when it comes to the severity of his client’s injury. Again, I’m not totally sure how he’d know, but he seems to think it’s not as bad as it could have been.