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Justin Harrell is Doing Just Fine

The headline on PackersNews is "Harrell's strength may be sapped." It isn't until the sixth paragraph that it is clear what the hell the headline means:

"The muscle recovery is gradual," said Dr. Randall Mohler, a surgeon who specializes in sports medicine at the California Orthopaedic Institute. "(It takes) a year to even a year-and-a-half before muscles will feel fully recovered, and (sustained strength) is one of the last things to come back. Even when someone is in the weight room and says, 'This feels 100 percent,' they'll notice it fatigues faster."
So he might not be playing at 100% until the end of the 2007. By that point he probably will have enough wear-and-tear after a full NFL season on the defensive line that he probably won't be at 100% anyway, but there shouldn't be any concern that this injury will be a problem in the future:
"The good news for him is that these almost never will re-rupture out after the recovery period," Mohler said. "(Doctors are) nervous right after surgery, because we don't want someone to have to go back to surgery or go through a surgery that doesn't help them out. But now that he's had nine months of recovery, his chance of re-rupturing this should be almost down to zero."

Harrell probably sat out the two minicamps and the OTAs because he is unsigned. Rookies usually get insurance against any injuries suffered during the minicamps prior to signing their rookie contracts, but maybe the cost of insurance was much higher for Harrell due to his preexisting injury. Since he wouldn't gain much from actually participating, and his spot on the roster is guaranteed, there probably was no reason to take the risk. He just participated in all the classroom activities and got a feel for the defense.

The beat writers gotta love having rookie free agent DE Larry Birdine around. He gave Tom Pelissero some good quotes contradicting Harrell's claims that the injury isn't a problem. Birdine has a history of running his mouth off, such as the time he said USC QB Matt Leinert was "the overrated quarterback for an average offense" before USC went on to pound Oklahoma 55-19 in the national championship game after the 2004 season. Maybe that was bad karma for Birdine because he played very little afterwards in 2005 and 2006 due to injuries.