Did you know that ACLs can heal? Sort of. Modern medicine tells you that tears NEVER heal. That's not completely true. Depending on how severe the tear is, where it is located, and if enough fibers are intact – the answer can be different. You see – the ACL DOES have it's own blood supply but one that is often torn when the ACL is torn. Even if it is not torn, the blood needs a "bridge" to travel across in order to clot and instigate healing. Without a bridge, the fluid in the knee washes away the clot – thus no healing. All those factors mean most ACLs never heal on their own.
Based on my MRI, examination, and lack of extreme swelling (usually caused by torn blood vessel), it is clear that my ACL is not FULLY torn (but definitely is partially torn) and also that all the important fibers are intact. It's possible the blood supply is still there and there is enough of a bridge for healing to take place.
So now I know the real reason why the two docs so far have said not to rush to surgery. Is it still possible I will need it? Yes. Probably 50/50. But it's worth gambling and waiting another 4 weeks to see if there is any sign of healing. If not – surgery. Setting back my recovery another 4 weeks is worth the gamble to me.
At this point, the non surgical route looks to be 2-4 more months of healing time (but with my own ACL!). The surgical route looks to be 10 months from today before I can return to FULL sports (cutting, pivoting, skiing, softball, hard core technical trails, etc) and maybe 4-6 months for return to running. Either way I might as well get comfy as a non runner for a little while.