Ravens linebacker Sergio Kindle is optimistic he'll be cleared to play after completing neurological tests in Baltimore on Tuesday.
Kindle, the team's top pick in the 2010 draft, suffered a hairline fracture of his skull after falling down two flights of stairs days before the start of training camp. Now he has to wait to see whether he'll be allowed to begin his NFL career.
"I'm confident that I'll be cleared," Kindle told The Baltimore Sun on Tuesday night. "I thought the tests went well. But I don't have the final say. When the doctors give the results to the team, that will let me know if I can come back."
Kindle underwent neurological and cognitive tests that lasted more than six hours at Sinai Hospital. He stayed overnight at the hospital and will undergo a magnetic resonance imaging today before flying out. The second-round pick is scheduled to return to Texas in the morning.
The Ravens are expected to restart contract talks with Kindle once the team is comfortable the former University of Texas star will be able to play again.
Kindle remains upbeat about his chances of playing for the Ravens this season.
"I'm not a head doctor but I work out and do drills on my own and I feel fine," said Kindle, who has been lifting weights and working on his conditioning six days a week for about a month. "I know it's a lot different than putting a helmet on. But in due time, I'll be ready."
Ravens officials have repeatedly said they don't know whether Kindle will play this season.
"It's just a matter of how fast the neurologists look at all that stuff and clear him to play," coach John Harbaugh said recently. "We've been told there is a chance, but there's also a chance this thing could take a long time. So, we just don't know. I wouldn't rule it out."
Kindle said his accident was the result of trying to find the bathroom in the dark.
"I made a wrong turn," he said. "It wasn't my house. It was my first time being there. It was a big house."
Kindle said it wasn't the result of his drinking alcohol. "The whole thing is, I should have turned the lights on," Kindle said. "I could have easily done it. A lot of people think it was my fault."
The fall made a "small crack" in the side of his head, Kindle said. He needed staples in his head for two to three weeks.
"But it's healed up already," he said.
Kindle made it clear that he's determined to get onto the field as fast as he can.
"Once I'm on the team, the sky is the limit from there," he said. "Once I'm cleared, I'm going to take it out of the doctor's hands and do so well in rehab that I'll prove that I'm ready."
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