Gaither Not Cleared To Play

Jared Gaither tested his back in practice last week and then received a second evaluation.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

After his latest re-evaluation Monday, Ravens offensive tackle Jared Gaither still isn’t cleared to play and is still dealing with back pain.

And there’s still no timetable for his return.

“I can’t block at 100 percent yet, so they won’t be clearing me,” Gaither said after seeing Dr. Robert Watkins – the back specialist Gaither and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, handpicked – for a second time. Gaither also saw Dr. Watkins during training camp.

“I still have pain and I still can’t have all the movements, so I guess they won’t clear me until I do all that.”

Gaither practiced last Wednesday on a limited basis for the first time in eight weeks. He said he wasn’t feeling better heading into the session, but he wanted to test whether he could practice with pain.

He said the pain was “tremendous enough” that he couldn’t continue.

“It’s been hurting pretty much straight through,” Gaither said. “It’s not been going off and then coming back on. Whatever I can take, I’m going to take it to the limit. It was pretty painful out there practicing. I knew I wouldn’t have been a help to the team throughout the season and throughout the game playing that way.”

After experiencing pain in practice, Gaither went back out to Dr. Watkins in California for a re-evaluation. Gaither, who was earlier diagnosed with a thoracic disc injury, said it’s a problem in his seventh, eighth and ninth vertebrae. He maintained that he doesn’t need surgery.

The fourth-year tackle said there’s not much he can do for the injury itself other than strengthening the muscles around it. He’s been working on building up his core stabilization.

“I can’t wait until that day when I wake up and I’m not in dire pain,” Gaither said. “It’s been on my mind every day. Every day I wake up, I can’t wait to play and get back on the field with the guys.”

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