Tuesday, March 21:
McAllister says rehab is on or ahead of schedule
Saints tailback works to strengthen knee following surgery
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
By Jimmy Smith
Saints tailback Deuce McAllister reported Monday for the team's voluntary offseason conditioning program that begins in earnest today at the Airline Drive facility and said the rehabilitation of his surgically repaired right knee is on or ahead of schedule.
"It's coming along good," McAllister said after a 1 p.m. team meeting, during which the team was addressed by new coach Sean Payton. "Last week we started doing some light cutting on it, then some jogging.
"The doctor hasn't released me to go full speed or anything on it just yet. I'm just running some hills and doing some different exercises on it. You have some good days and some bad days. (After cutting on the knee) it was fine, knock on wood. I haven't had a lot of tendinitis or true setbacks with it. It's just one day at a time."
McAllister tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee against the Green Bay Packers on Oct. 9.
On Oct. 20, noted Birmingham, Ala., sports orthopedist Dr. James Andrews repaired the damaged ligament in reconstructive surgery and found no damage to any of the other three ligaments in the knee or in the meniscus cartilage.
For 12 weeks following the surgery, McAllister was limited to working out on a stationary bicycle and elliptical trainer.
He has been rehabbing in New Orleans and said Monday he expects to participate in the Saints' conditioning program that runs through June 15.
It's unlikely McAllister will take part in either of the Saints' offseason minicamps in April and June.
"The ultimate goal is to be ready for training camp," said McAllister, with an eye toward the end of July when camp is tentatively scheduled to begin. "We could push it and probably be ready for that second minicamp. We'll just see how it goes the next two months or whatever. But everything is going well.
"I'd say I'm a little ahead of schedule, maybe on schedule, somewhere in there definitely. I'm not behind schedule, because I haven't had any setbacks."
On Monday, McAllister ran into newly signed Saints quarterback Drew Brees, with whom he can share rehabilitation stories because both are recovering from surgeries performed by Andrews.
Brees will return to Birmingham to continue rehabilitation on his right shoulder, which was repaired arthroscopically by Andrews in January.
"Anytime there's turnover in that backfield, you have to establish a relationship," McAllister said. "But I think me and Drew have a relationship already as far as friends are concerned. We came out the same year (2001), and I had met him my junior year in college. I think there's a friendship there. Now we have to build that bond as far as a quarterback and a running back go. You know, if he's going left, he has to know I'm going to be there for him.
". . . It's like a MASH unit back there. I know he's working hard to get his shoulder right. I think there's going to be a good rapport between us."
McAllister also said he has met with Payton, who impressed McAllister as "very detailed."
"He's not looking at it as a three- to five-year window and what changes have to be made," McAllister said.
"He wants to know what occurred, why hasn't this team done better overall. He asked me a little history, but he'd done his homework, as well."