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Torrey Smith is a bit slower these days.
The Ravens’ breakout rookie wide receiver had surgery just days after the season ended to repair a sports hernia.
But Smith isn’t worried, and he assures his 67,000 Twitter followers and fans around Baltimore that he’ll be back up to speed in plenty of time for next season.
In fact, he says he’ll be back for the start of the Ravens’ voluntary lifting sessions on April 16.
“I’ll be ready by the time we get back,” Smith said. “I’ll be fine. I’m in good hands.”
Smith has been coming to the Ravens’ training facility nearly every day since his surgery to rehab with Head Certified Athletic Trainer Mark Smith and his staff.
The wideout says he can jog now, and personally believes he would be able to run. But they’re taking it slow.
“We have a lot of time, so they just want to make sure I come back in the best shape possible,” he said. “It just had to get fixed. It wasn’t a kill you kind of thing.”
Smith was in more pain than he let on, however.
He suffered the injury near the start of the regular season. He was hurt during his five-catch, 152-yard, three-touchdown breakout game versus St. Louis. It was even worse when he spun off a Patriots defender for a 29-yard touchdown in the AFC championship.
Smith played through the injury for the remainder of the season, working with the training staff to maintain the pain.
“I could be fine one minute and the next minute I felt like I could barely walk,” he said. “It got worse toward the end of the season, especially when it started getting cold.”
Yet Smith said there was no reason to complain about it. He hid it from everybody outside the team.
That’s why when Head Coach John Harbaugh revealed the injury to reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine, Smith’s phone blew up with hundreds of tweets and text messages. He has well-wishers wherever he goes.
Smith hasn’t been able to do much, however. He hasn’t been able to drive. His mom has driven him to the team facility for rehab.
After recording 50 catches for 841 yards and a franchise rookie record seven touchdowns, Smith looks back and says he did just “OK.” He says he left a lot of plays on the field.
The Maryland product, who at this time last year was coming off a strong combine performance, is looking forward to his first full offseason with the team and Wide Receivers Coach Jim Hostler.
“My No. 1 goal going into the season is to just be consistent,” Smith said. “It’s all on me. I have to expect to make plays all the time. I’ll be prepared a lot more.”
Smith said he’ll hone his technique this offseason. He’s a firm believer that being consistent in his technique leads to being consistent in his play on Sundays.
“Everything’s getting a lot easier as far as getting open,” he said. “Each and every week I was able to see growth and improvement as I was getting better at technique.”