OWINGS MILLS – Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo isn’t likely to be running down on kickoffs and crashing into people when training camp begins in late July.
Still recovering from a torn quadriceps tendon in his left leg last October against the New England Patriots, Ayanbadejo believes he’ll be able to practice in non-contact drills at the launch of camp.
The slow progress from a major injury has tried his patience.
"Yeah, I’m getting it back," Ayanbadejo said. "I’m feeling better every day. I can’t really be frustrated even though it’s going slow because the healing process is real slow. I can’t complain because every day I see improvement."
A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Ayabadejo has resumed individual drills and had expected to take part in seven-on-seven passing drills last week if not for an allergic reaction to medication.
"That inflamed it and set me back a couple of weeks," Ayanbadejo said. "I feel as good as I did two weeks ago. If not for that shot, I’d be much further ahead. It happens. You try to get healthier. For every five steps you go forward, you might go one or two steps back."
Ayanbadejo has been continually reminded of the fact that the injury was extremely serious. It required surgery from Dr. James Andrews to repair the damage.
"It’s a lot more invasive than an ACL, a lot more complicated for it to heal," Ayanbadejo said. "It’s a tough surgery to overcome. I’m hoping in the long run I’ll be back faster and be 100 percent."
One of the fastest and best-conditioned athletes on the team, Ayanbadejo expects to regain his old form in due time.
"I hope so, that’s the plan," Ayanbadejo said. "For me there’s no other option but that. I want to get back to my normal self and do what I normally do. This is the first injury of my career. I can’t wait to get back to being the same player that I was."