METAIRIE, La. – New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram said he’s back to 100 percent, matching his goal entering training camp in spite of offseason surgeries to help hasten his return from toe and knee injuries.
“You play football long enough, you’re going to get hurt,” Ingram said Thursday, the first day of training camp. “You’re going to get injuries. It’s part of our game. It’s how you heal up and bounce back.”
Ingram ended 2011 on injured reserve, a lingering big toe injury keeping him out of the last two regular season games. This offseason, he had surgery to fix the toe. He also had arthroscopic surgery to clean up a knee, a surgery he called routine and minor this summer.
To facilitate his return, Ingram said he’s doing everything in his power to not just get healthy, but to stay healthy.
That includes visits to a chiropractor, deep-tissue massages, icing down and stretching before, during and after practice.
The second-year running back whom the Saints moved up in the 2011 draft to grab in the first round said he’s back to “running fast (and) cutting full speed.”
On Tuesday, when players reported to training camp, acting head coach Joe Vitt said they would monitor Ingram. But he was full-go in practice Thursday and showed no limitations.
“I didn’t want to miss anymore time playing football,” Ingram said. “I wanted to get out here and play ball. Sitting out the last two games and the playoff games and sitting out OTAs and all that, it’s not fun.”