FOXBORO -- It was either New England or nothing for Kevin Faulk in
That was evident.
But what wasn’t known, was if the veteran running back would
be able to fully recover from a torn ACL he suffered early last season.
The fact that the injury hit him in the first month of the
season, was perhaps a blessing in disguise for his return in 2011. Still, with
the lockout in place this offseason, Faulk had a tough time rehabbing the knee
without his team doctors.
“For me, that was probably one of the toughest things, to
have knee surgery and then having a lockout, and not being able to see my
trainers, converse with my trainers and try to do rehab on my own,” said Faulk
on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
“Credit to the LSU training staff. They helped me out a
whole lot. But at the same time, not being able to converse with my trainers
over here, it was very hard.”
Faulk is back now. The unrestricted free agent re-signed
with the Patriots on Saturday. It was a return that he knew he’d try to make
the day he got hurt in 2010.
And he received even more motivation just before the lockout
began, when Patriots coach Bill Belichick called Faulk and told him he wanted him
back on the team in 2011.
“That was motivation enough for me to go out and rehab my
butt off, and get ready for the season, whenever it may be and whenever it may
come,” said Faulk on Saturday. “So that was pretty much enough for me.”
Faulk said he started feeling really good about two months
ago. But because of the new league rules, he can’t practice with the team until
“I know physically I feel good,” said Faulk. “But mentally,
I want to get out there, and see how it is getting hit. Pushing and pulling
against linebackers and stuff. And that’s just the process of it.”