Wahle eager to start practicing

Mike Wahle began preparing to return to practice with the Green Bay Packers this week. The guard has yet to take part in this year's training camp after injuring his knee in early July.<p>

Wahle will not play in Saturday's exhibition game against the New Orleans Saints and probably will not play Aug. 27 when the Packers play in Nashville against the Tennessee Titans. If all goes well in practice, Wahle expects to take part in Green Bay's final exhibition game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 3.

"It's really up to the doctors and depends on how everything feels in the next couple of days," Wahle said on Thursday after practice.

Wahle, entering his seventh season, injured his knee on July 2 while lifting weights. He probably will not begin testing his knee until next week, according to Mike Sherman.

"Sometimes when you're lifting, freak accidents happen and this is one of those situations," Wahle explained. "My knee joint compressed and I got a bone bruise on my femer. There is no way to explain how it could have happened. It's a bump in the road."

Steve Morley, who played in the Canadian Football League last year, is currently filling in for Wahle at left guard.

Here's how Wahle responded to other questions from the media:

On how tough it is to sit and watch the team practice instead of participating:

"It is very, very frustrating. This is the first time I've ever missed practice here or anywhere else, so I'm not used to this. Not being able to compete ... you work all off-season to get ready for this training camp, and not being out there immediately is definitely a frustrating thing."

On how much time he needs to be ready for season opener:

"I've just got to work the kinks out, whether it takes a week or two weeks. It's whatever the doctors give me. If they give me two days, I'll be ready in two days, but I'd much rather have two weeks."

On if playing in at least one preseason game is better than no game:

"Absolutely. The more live opportunities you have against a live opponent instead of our guys, who I've seen for six years now ... getting your calls back down and getting comfortable with what everyone is doing. They have two new guys (guard Steve Morley and center Grey Ruegamer) in there right now, so (Mike Flanagan) and I are going to attack things differently than those two might, and I have to make sure Chad (Clifton) is comfortable with me and I'm comfortable with him.

"Everything is timing with the offensive line. Because we've been playing together for so long, I don't think it should be too much of a problem."

On Steve Morley and his adjustments to playing guard:

"He's been playing pretty well. From Day 1 (of training camp) to now, he's made some great strides. He obviously is a young guy. It's a complicated offense, especially playing left guard. There is a lot demanded of you because you have to move around and things like that. I think he's playing pretty well."

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