EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — Greg Childs happily walked through Minnesota’s locker room. It was a stiff stroll, but the wide receiver walked without assistance, proudly updating his progress and promising to be back on the field for 2013 despite a ruptured patellar tendon in each of his knees that ended his rookie year before it began.
“I like to do things that people think other people can’t do. I’ve got a strong head,” he said.
Childs appeared in the locker room on Monday during a break before a rehabilitation session at the team’s practice facility, making his first public comments since the freak injury a week into training camp. Childs was drafted out of Arkansas in the fourth round and placed on injured reserve shortly after he was hurt.
“It kind of hurt my feelings a little bit, but you’ve just got to push through it,” Childs said with a big smile on his face. “You’ve got to understand football is a game you’re going to get hurt in. But it’s how you come back and how you respond when you do get hurt.”
Childs credited his Christian faith and family support for his positive attitude.
“I’ll be back on the field next season. So I’ll be back out there running around doing my thing, making plays,” Childs said.
He said he’s been walking “for a while” without crutches or braces, doing daily strength and range of motion exercises on each leg.
“It’s a long process, but you’ve just got to be prepared for it, get your head in the game, have your mind set,” Childs said.
He politely declined to share more details about his recovery, like which activities he can currently do and which ones he can’t.
“I can do a whole bunch of things. I’m just going to keep behind the scenes and let you all, you know, just kind of find out slowly,” Childs said, grinning: “I’m not going to put it out on tape for y’all right now. I’m doing good, though.”
Childs was hurt when he tried to jump to catch a pass in an intrasquad scrimmage on Aug. 4. He tore the patellar tendon in his right knee two years ago, an injury that limited his production as a senior and caused him to fall down the draft board. But Childs said that history with the same injury has made his rehab work easier to handle and his outlook more optimistic.
“I already understood what it was going to take for me to get back on the field and how long it was going to take for me to start back walking,” Childs said, adding: “So I had the mindset what I needed to do.”
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