FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Kelyn Rowe has a serious case of cabin fever.
Sidelined for the past five games with a right knee sprain – the second-longest stretch he’s missed in six years as a professional – Rowe is more than a little anxious to get back onto the field, and his restlessness hasn’t gone unnoticed in the locker room.
“I’ve hit a run where I’m kind of going crazy, and the guys see it,” Rowe said with laugh. “They’re like, ‘Kelyn, calm down. It’s going to be okay. You’ve got to take it easy.’”
It was a long-awaited relief, then, for Rowe to lace up the boots on Tuesday morning and take his workout from the treatment room to the training field for the first time since suffering his injury on August 20.
The exercises were still relatively light – straightforward running; “no real cutting” just yet – but it was another important step in Rowe’s steady recovery, even as he remains careful not to push himself too hard and worsen the injury.
That Rowe is even running at all just one month after crumpling to the ground at Yankee Stadium is perhaps the best news, considering initial fears about a major knee injury and potential surgery.
“You go into the MRI and they say everything’s okay, but they want to check things out first,” Rowe said. “There’s always that doctor talk; I don’t know if they’re really serious or if they’re trying to calm me down.
“But we got the MRI back and they said, ‘you’re not going to need surgery.’ It was a huge weight off my chest [when I knew the recovery was] weeks rather than months.”
There’s still more progress to be made in the coming weeks, but Rowe does have his sights set on a return to the field in 2017, with still five games and one month remaining in the regular season.
“I wanted to be back the week after (the injury), but unfortunately the knee doesn’t let me do that,” Rowe said. “Whenever that’s ready, whenever I’m ready to go and I’m ready to push it and I can play for the team, I’m going to be there.”