VIDEO: Thigpen on ACL

Running back Damien Thigpen, who tore his ACL against USC last year in November, is progressing well in his recovery, and has hopes for the beginning of the season...

Damien Thigpen talks about his ACL recovery:

On working out after injury:
Man, it feels really good to be back with the team.  During spring, it was really tough on that bike, doing abs with Coach Alosi, kind of feeling disconnected, but I know my teammates helped me a lot, staying near them, staying connected, it was tough but it feels good to be back out here.

On sideline work with Alosi when injured being tougher than regular workouts:
I can agree with that, it's right there.  You don't want to be injured.  It's a different time of hard.  You're doing abs, your arms are burning, doing pushups.  It's not fun.  It makes you not want to be injured at all.  You want to be on the field.

On the Navy Seals:
I was a little hesitant in my mind, like to get warmed up get my knee warmed up but it held up.  It was challenging, but I felt everyone met that challenge.  It was probably a little more challenging (than Alosi), because he's not trying to break you down.  He's trying to get you back and stay on the field.

On his rehab:
A lot of weight room stuff with Alosi, a lot of jumping in the training room.  A lot of stretching in my knee.  I had a lot of work I had to do, but we got it done and everything is feeling pretty good and I'm excited.

On the weight room:
I'm pretty far along, but it always takes being in the team. Mental reps can only take me so far but I need to be with the team.  Right now for what I'm doing, I'm good mentally.  But as I take that next step and I progress into the team, that will be another barrier to break through and I'm going to keep progressing.

On rehabbing the knee with other injured teammates:
We're the ACL gang.  We stay together and support each other. Isaiah, me, Librado, Eldridge, Willie, Longo.  We support each other, we talk to each other.

On watching team after injury:
I feel like any athlete would think that.  I felt like I had a part of the offense and it might have hurt us when I got injured.  We had to make some adjustments.  Of course, I would have liked to have been in there helping my team.  But that was last year, but hopefully this year, I can make it back and make it even bigger.

On his timeline for a return:
Ever since the surgery for my injury, they said I would be back for the season.  They told me 7-8 months, 7-9 probably and it leads up right to here right up to the Nevada game.  Adrian Peterson came back in nine months, who said I can't?

On if an injury delay could cause him to shut things down and wait for a 6th year:
I don't think, no, not at all.  I feel like my leg, and the way it's doing now, I wont have that issue. I'll keep getting better and keep progressing, so no, I'll be back.,  My ACL is healed, it doesn't have anything to do with the healing process, it matters how I feel.  When I do other things to it, it will respond and adapt.  It's not the ACL, it's all up to me at this point.  Just listening to my body.

On his timeline for a return:
So far, it will be running back, but they haven't thought about changing me until I get back. When I get back, they may throw some different things at me, but right now it's running back.

On competing for the running back job:
I'm here to compete.  We're all going to compete, it's what we do.

On talking with Jeff Ulbrich about being a returner:
I haven't talked too much with him yet, because I'm working to get back, but I will talk with him.



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