Journalists Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt may be airlifted back to the US as early as Tuesday after being injured in an explosion Sunday in Iraq.
Both have head injuries and woodruff also broke several bones.
Vogt and Woodruff had surgery, and Woodruff needed a portion of his skull removed to stop swelling in the brain.
Sacred Heart neurosurgeon Phil Porter says it could take a year for them to recover.
"There's a number of phases, what theyr'e going through now is acute medical care then the rehab period. During this time they'll be working with teams to get back to a normal level of functioning. The rehab pattern is a predictable process the extent of recovery is unpredictable," Dr. Porter said.
During these injuries, brain swelling can be a problem.
Woodruff needed surgery to have a portion of his skull cap removed to keep the swelling down.
Tthe function of that is to allow outward expansion of the brain and to keep it from expanding inward which can cause further damage to critical areas like breathing or heart functions which lie at the base of the brain," Dr. Porter said.
Dr. Porter added that even after rehabilitation, full recovery is not guaranteed with side effects of the injury ranging from possible seizures to behavioral and cognitive changes.