So far, so good.
That’s how Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk assessed his first two preseason practices Wednesday as the redshirt senior continues to recover from a ruptured left Achilles tendon suffered in February.
“It’s been great,” he said. “Starting out the first day, I just wanted to go out there and see how things felt. We had our second practice (Tuesday) night and I felt like I got better from the first practice to the second practice, and that’s what I’m asking for every day.”
Sirk said there was no soreness, no tenderness in the foot. He said he has stuck with his usual post-practice routine with the trainers.
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The Blue Devils opened practice Monday night and Duke coach David Cutcliffe said beforehand that Sirk would be limited in what he could and couldn’t do. But Sirk made it sound Wednesday as if he’s getting as much work – or perhaps more – than he anticipated.
“I’ve been doing everything (but) I haven’t been involved in the team reps yet, which is going to come,” he said. “They just want to take it one step at a time. It’s obviously only been two practices and I’ll get more involved in those things as the week progresses and next week.”
If I feel anything awkward I’m not going to push it. … But I’m not nervous about it. I’m just going out and playing my game and not doing anything different.
Duke quarterback Thomas Sirk
With an Achilles tear – and Sirk ruptured his right Achilles in 2013 – there can be some hesitation in making quick, darting moves in the final stages of the recovery process. But Sirk, making his first comments since practice began, said he has not been completely stationary in what he has been able to do.
“I haven’t been limited on my running,” he said. “If I feel anything awkward I’m not going to push it. … But I’m not nervous about it. I’m just going out and playing my game and not doing anything different.”
Center Austin Davis, a redshirt junior, said he and his teammates had little doubt that despite such a serious injury and a fairly short, six-month rehab window, Sirk would be ready once fall camp began.
“We never really questioned him,” Davis said Wednesday. “We believe how strong he is and we’ve seen how much courage he has when he plays. We just supported him and never worried about him, because we knew he would get it done.
“He looks really good, looks just as or maybe more athletic than he used to. I’m not a doctor or anything, but I’ve always been told Achilles tears are pretty significant and I’ve never seen someone work as hard as he has in that rehab. He’s dedicated to making sure he will be there for the first game. It’s been remarkable.”
Duke opens the season Sept. 3 against N.C. Central.
Sirk said Cutcliffe, throughout the rehab process, has asked him “every day” how he was doing, how the foot felt. Cutcliffe said Monday that he’s counting on Sirk, a competitive type who badly wants to play, to be honest with him in discussing his condition, in practice or games.
“So far it’s been great,” Sirk said. “I haven’t felt anything uncomfortable out there or anything out of the ordinary. I’ve felt normal running and going through all the drills.”