Another week of practice starts up, and Malcolm Kelly‘s status remains the same: doing sidework, running ladders, riding the stationary bike, catching balls from the JUGS machine … but not practicing. Not getting on the field with his teammates or building rapport with the new quarterbacks.
And you know what tomorrow’s going to bring, according to head coach Mike Shanahan? More of the same, pretty much. “He won’t be back tomorrow after looking at him today,” Shanahan said after practice. “I really don’t know about those hamstrings, one day they feel better than the other and then there is more tightness. He’s going about 50% right now. I just don’t know at this time.” And, the coach added, that makes his chances for appearing in Saturday’s game against the Ravens “pretty slim.”
So, you might ask: how does Kelly himself feel about all this?
“I don’t know if words can really explain how frustrating it is,” Kelly said today, walking off the far practice field after catching yet another round of passes from the machine. “Especially whenyou come in with high expectations of yourself and they got high expectations, it’s just … it’s frustrating.”
What Kelly’s doing with the sidework is, essentially, everything he can do without risking an exacerbated injury to the hamstring, and he throws himself into it with abandon. When he rides the stationary bike in practice, he really pedals the heck out of it, like the toughest spin class you’ve ever seen. He catches the balls off the JUGS machine with the same soft-handed fluidity that seems so impressive when he busts it out on the field. But, really, that’s where it stops.
“To do all of that is one thing,” Kelly said, “but when you actually gotta engage it to run, it’s totally different. And it’s tricky, because sometimes it can be a week, sometimes it can be a month, you never know. Different people, different areas of the hamstring, means different recovery time for different stuff.”
On the whole, Kelly says his hamstring “feels cool.” The problem is “certain movements, you know? I don’t wanna aggravate it. I don’t wanna come out here and actually hurt myself, you know what I’m sayin?”
Which left Kelly on the sidelines for the preseason game, watching fellow 2008 second-rounder Devin Thomas catch a long touchdown, and other fellow 2008 second-rounder Fred Davis catch a touchdown, and even undrafted, unheralded Anthony Armstrong catch a touchdown. And that, Kelly admitted, causes some mixed emotions.
“Anytime you see a guy doing good,” Kelly said, “you’re glad for him doing good, but at the same time you wanna get out there. It’s almost like a helpless feeling.”
Kelly is no longer even willing to project a possible return date. “I ain’t gonna waste my time doin’ that,” he said. “I think I got to the point a few day ago where I stopped sayin’ days.”
Which means all we really know is that tomorrow, he’ll be back on the sidelines, riding the bike and running the ladders and catching balls from the machine, watching all those other guys on the field.
Tags: Malcolm Kelly, training camp 2010
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