Ravens rookie linebacker Sergio Kindle uncertain about playing in 2011

December 22, 2010|By Ken Murray, The Baltimore Sun

In the five months since he suffered a fractured skull, Sergio Kindle has been optimistic he would play football for the Ravens. But Tuesday night, following a conversation with his doctor at Sinai Hospital, the second-round draft pick raised doubt on his Twitter account that he will be able to play in 2011.

And Wednesday, upon meeting with reporters, Kindle said his football future remains in limbo.

"Basically, they're just saying they don't know," Kindle said of his medical team. "They haven't dealt with an injury like mine before, so they can't really give me a yes or a no with confidence, but [are] kind of in the middle. It's a hit or a miss.

"The whole point of it is, they don't know if I'll be able to take a hit of something like that. You know what I mean? Just because I'm not doing anything with contact right now."

On July 22, three days before training camp opened, Kindle tumbled down a stairwell while searching for a bathroom in the dark at a friend's house. He suffered a hairline skull fracture and eventually was placed on the reserve/non-football injury list by the team, with the expectation he would play next season.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he had no update on Kindle's status for next year.

"I don't have anything new on Sergio," Harbaugh said. "We haven't met with the doctors since the last time we talked about that. … It's just going to be, the way I understand it, how far he comes along, how fast he comes along, with his recovery."

Kindle, 23, has been taking physical therapy at Sinai and at the complex, but is not allowed to participate in football activities while on the non-football injury list. He said he no longer has concussion symptoms.

"Everything has gotten better and that's why what he's telling me is so disappointing," Kindle said. "Because as well as I'm doing, they don't have a definite answer for me."

Kindle had 16 sacks and 176 tackles in 46 games at Texas. He was rated the top pass-rushing linebacker in the April draft, but slipped to the Ravens on the 43rd pick of the second round. On a team that has been desperate for a pass rush at times this season, Kindle's absence was significant.

He signed a one-year contract after the mishap, and the Ravens can retain his rights by offering him a second-year tender in free agency.

On his second tweet Tuesday night, he also expressed doubt about whether he would stay with the Ravens. The tweet said: "yal know its a business so if i cant play next yr, dey aint

gon keep me here!! But [expletive] IT i gota keep grind'n so i can ball out next yr!!"

Asked if he was hopeful about playing in 2011, Kindle said Wednesday, "I always felt that I'd be able to play. I thought I'd be able to play this year. But next year, I thought would be a no-brainer. But from what the doctor's telling me, it could be different."

ken.murray@baltsun.com

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