Cushing shows up in locker room sans boot

Cushing shows up in locker room sans boot
November 30, 2012, 7:30 pm
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(US Presswire)

Brian Cushing showed up to the open locker room session after Friday’s practice, about six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn left ACL.

He wasn’t using crutches.

He wasn’t wearing a boot.

He said he felt great.

“I’d probably say I’m ahead of schedule,” Cushing said, “but at the same time I don’t want to push anything right now because there really is no rush. The most important thing is to be 100 percent healthy for when I do come back.”

And, no. The answer is no.

Cushing cannot and will not play this season. Not even in the Super Bowl. He is on the Injured Reserve list and his season is over. But still, it’s encouraging to see him this far along already.

“I’d say I’m pretty closer to jogging,” he said. “I feel really good. I’ve been doing step ups. I’ve doing a lot of weighted exercises. I really don’t think I’m too far away from jogging, which is a big step towards recovery.”

Cushing said he’s been off his crutches for about three or four weeks already. He was injured in early October against the Jets when Matt Slauson blocked Cushing low.

Even throughout his recovery, Cushing has been around his team. He’s been to every practice, game, meeting. He’s offered his teammates words of advice and has tried to help them in any way possible … even if it’s hard for him.

“It’s tough,” Cushing admitted. “After every win you obviously are happy, but part of you feels like you weren’t part of it. It’s obvious. It’s evident, but at the same time I’m happy for the guys. They’re playing their hearts out. 10-1 at this point is just extremely impressive, but definitely tough watching every game and knowing I can’t contribute.”

Cushing was the beginning of the Texans’ injury problems at the linebacker position but he wasn’t the last one. This week against the Titans, only Connor Barwin remains as the only linebacker from the opening day lineup. Brooks Reed will be out for a while with a groin injury. Bradie James (hamstring) is out this week and Tim Dobbins has been dealing with a shoulder injury.

Lucky for the Texans, Darryl Sharpton has been able to make his way from the PUP list to the starting lineup relatively quickly.

“It’s a rough game and a tough position to play,” Cushing said. “I think we’re really understanding that this year with that many guys dinged up and myself going down for the year. I think it’s a position you cannot really have enough depth at. It’s a tough one and I think the guys have stepped up. Guys like Darryl coming back has been a huge plus for us.”

Yeah, he still says “us.” He’s still very much a part of the team. Cushing even had his surgery during the bye week so that he wouldn’t miss any time with the team. So, it does bother him but he’s using that pent-up competitive fire to fuel his rehab.

“Put it towards my rehab and just remember how sweet it’s going to be to come back and play again and the first time I’m running out of the tunnel and all that stuff,” he said. “Just got to keep that in the back of my mind and keep pushing, every day I’m closer to coming back.”