Vince Wilfork shares insightful perspective on Isaiah Wynn's Achilles injury

Darren Hartwell
NBC Sports Boston

Vince Wilfork shares insightful perspective on Isaiah Wynn's Achilles injury originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

Show us a player trying to recover from a significant injury, and we'll show you another player who's been there before.

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In this case, the latter player happens to be former New England Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, who tore his Achilles tendon just four weeks into the 2013 season and missed the rest of the year.

As Patriots offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn attempts to recover from his own torn Achilles that forced him to miss his entire rookie campaign, Wilfork has some wisdom to impart on the 22-year-old.

"The biggest thing that helped me, and the biggest thing I could tell anyone with an Achilles, was taking the recommended time and maybe even a little more, depending on how the body responds," Wilfork recently told ESPN's Mike Reiss. "The last thing you want is to start doing some things and boom! You snap it again and you're back behind the curve. That was one of the best things I did -- I listened and was staying off it."

Wilfork was back for Patriots training camp in July 2014, and Wynn appears to be working toward that same goal; New England's 2018 first-round pick has made "daily" trips to Gillette Stadium this offseason for workouts and treatment, according to Reiss.

One treatment Wilfork recommends above all else: lots of massages.

"Getting scar tissue broken down was also important," Wilfork added. "I think probably 75-80 percent of my comeback was because of my masseuse. She was probably the biggest difference-maker in coming back the way I did. It wasn't any rehab. It wasn't any training. It was my masseuse, 2-3 hours, and just breaking down the scar tissue and getting new blood flow in that area. I did that 3-4 times a week."

That treatment paid off for Wilfork, who went on to play until 2016 and told Reiss he could have played "another five, six, seven more" seasons if he wanted to.

But the Patriots aren't looking that far ahead for Wynn, who is in line to be the team's starting left tackle after Trent Brown and LaAdrian Waddle departed in free agency.

If Wynn wants advice for how to make a full recovery, though, it sounds like he has a willing mentor in Wilfork.

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