In writing this http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2011/04/making-neuropathway.html I was looking for an answer to why some people recover faster after a brain injury than other people. I believe the answer is neural pathways available.
Rewiring (quickly) seems to mostly happen in the first year (it's not over there. so don't worry). Existing neural pathways are recruited. This accounts for those people who seem to recover quick.
Then there is long-term rewiring, This can feel like forever to a person. The neural pathway doesn't exist. So the brain makes one.
This process is similar to learning, if not the same. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning
I'm not recovering fast. I'm learning fast.