Pagano: 'Gos,' Mathis not ready for practice

Colts head coach Chuck Pagano doesn't anticipate either player to be ready by the time workouts wrap up in June.

Offensive right tackle Gosder Cherilus and outside linebacker Robert Mathis aren’t expected to participate in the Indianapolis Colts’ offseason training activities.

Head coach Chuck Pagano was asked last week about the players getting some work in OTAs, and he said, “I don’t anticipate it.”

Colts general manager Ryan Grigson had previously expressed the hope that Cherilus might get some work done in June.

Cherilus is coming off a season with numerous injuries, including a knee that was scoped in the offseason, as well as shoulder and groin issues. He was placed on injured reserve for the playoffs.

Mathis is coming off an Achilles tendon tear which caused him to miss last season after he served a four-game suspension for violating the league policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The Colts’ all-time sack leader has been the subject of much speculation in terms of his timetable to return from such a serious injury at an advanced age (34).

Marhis had expressed through his agent the hope that he could participate in a portion of the team’s eight-week OTAs, but that doesn’t sound like it’s going to happen. The Colts conclude their offseason work with mini-camp June 8-11.

Pagano said offensive guard Donald Thomas, tight end Coby Fleener, outside linebacker Erik Walden, outside linebacker Bjoern Werner and offensive guard Jack Mewhort also have been held out of activities.

Werner was said to be missing time due to an injury from last season. Grigson has said the former first-round pick being scratched for January’s AFC Championship Game was a combination of the player trying to work through some “dings” which had affected his performance.

Pagano was asked about Thomas, who has spent all but two games on injured reserve the past two seasons due to a torn quadriceps.

“Pretty significant injury in back-to-back seasons and tough for anybody to come back form,” Pagano said. “He’s working. His mindset is that he wants to play, he wants to get back, he wants to be 100 percent. Time will tell. He’s doing everything that he’s supposed to be doing to try and get himself healthy.”

Running back Vick Ballard is in the same situation. He’s played only one game in two seasons due to knee and Achilles tears. His goal is to be ready for August training camp.

“Vick (Ballard) is no different,” Pagano said. “You have back-to-back season-ending injuries, it’s hard. It’s hard when guys have one significant injury and they come back. Physically, the doctors and trainers, they all say, ‘Hey, you’re 100 percent.’ But this right here, it takes time to get your confidence back and get back on the field. Especially for the big guys playing interior line of scrimmage and defensive lineman having 700 pounds on them on a double team, and he’s coming off a knee. It takes some time to gain your confidence and things like that.”

Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.

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