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Dr. Rock

LeCharles Bentley to play this year?

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:D Wow.. I thought he'd destroyed his knee so much that he was 110% out for 2007, and likely forever.

 

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2922740

 

CLEVELAND -- Center LeCharles Bentley, whose first season with Cleveland ended with a freakish knee injury last summer that became infected and threatened his life and NFL career, plans to play for the Browns this season.

 

The club's marquee free-agent signing in 2006, Bentley said Sunday that he'll report to training camp in a few weeks and that his goal is to be ready for the season opener on Sept. 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

 

"It's unbelievable how far I've come in the last few months," Bentley said in a phone interview from Arizona, where he has been rehabbing and working out for the past few months. "I feel so blessed to even be in a position to think about playing again. I've come so far. I'm not going to stop now."

 

Bentley, who tore his left patellar tendon while planting on the first full-contact play of training camp last July, expects to be on the field for the Browns' first full workout on July 27.

 

He called Browns coach Romeo Crennel two weeks ago to tell him that he'd be in camp and that he planned to play this season.

 

"I think he was shocked," Bentley said. "I think a lot of people are."

 

The 27-year-old revealed that he has undergone four operations since getting hurt, the final two to clean out a staph infection that ate away at his tendon and a virus that became so severe that doctors considered amputating his leg.

 

"At one point, I was so sick they weren't sure I was going to live through the night," Bentley said.

 

New York Giants team physician Dr. Russell Warren performed Bentley's latest operation in November, when more staph was cleaned out and a portion of the deteriorated tendon was removed.

 

Following that procedure, Warren advised Bentley to begin thinking about life without football.

 

But Bentley, who signed a six-year, $36 million free agent contract with the Browns to play for his hometown team, wasn't nearly ready to give up. And after a few weeks of workouts, Bentley became convinced he could make it all the way back.

 

"He [Warren] is a great doctor," Bentley said. "But doctors have told people they have six months to live and they go on to live full lives for years. For a while my wheels were spinning, but I was determined to make it back."

 

Warren considered a fifth operation on Bentley in early June, but after seeing the two-time Pro Bowler's improvement in May, decided against it.

 

"He thought it was remarkable," Bentley said. "He thought I had made enough progress that I didn't need another one [operation]. I've still got a few more hurdles to overcome but I've come so far already."

 

Bentley plans to visit Warren again before returning to the field.

 

His unexpected return is terrific news for the rebuilding Browns, who didn't think they'd have him for the upcoming season and weren't sure if the former Ohio State star would ever play for them at all.

 

"I'm sure people still don't know if I'll be back, and it's still probably going to be a little wait and see," he said. "But if I play one more snap, that's one more snap than a lot of people ever thought I'd play.

 

"People are quick to want to kill a dream. But a lot of work and a lot of prayers later I'm ready to play again. I've been blessed."

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If 100% healthy, this has to be good news for Lewis owners... We'll see if he can make it back though. Didnt Curtis Martin say he was gonna "try" to come back last year? Howd that work out for him...

 

ETA - I know - different player, different injury... Point is they both said they were coming back... that is the only similarity I am reffering to.

Edited by peepinmofo

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Please don't let him rush back. Comon LeCharles just chill this season you're still young.

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Good for him; great to see a good guy make it even to this point after the injury and issues he's had. Hopefully, the knee is strong enough to hold up and he does not wind up needing more surgery.

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The bigger concern is probably the Browns facilities....Did they ever get that place cleaned up so all the staph infections would stop?

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