Because they have the luxury of time, mostly. Athletes focus on doing their recovery right, not fast — meaning they never skip physical therapy, and they do all of their band exercises. After all, their financial futures can depend on getting back in shape and staying there.
The average Joe might never be back at 100 per cent after tearing their ACL, but Jamal Crawford, Alex Morgan, and Rob Gronkowski (to name a few who’ve suffered that most classic of sports injuries) could devote themselves to their rehab in a way that average Joe can’t. In other words, if you quit your job and spend six hours a day rehabbing, you too can return to beer-league soccer playing at your all-time greatest.