When Kory Lichtensteiger reports to Redskins Park for OTAs next month, the starting left guard will be as healthy as he’s been in 20 months.
Lichtensteiger was unable to finish the Redskins’ playoff game against the Seahawks in January after tweaking the left ankle he had injured the previous week. Three months later, though, Lichtensteiger says the high ankle sprain he suffered in the regular season finale against the Cowboys is back to full strength and that he’ll have a clean bill of health when offseason activities begin.
“I don’t even feel that anymore,” he said Saturday in Ashburn. “About a month into it, it was fine. It was never serious, it just takes a more time than a week [between games] to get ready for.”
In addition to a healthy ankle, Lichtensteiger said that his surgically repaired right knee will be a “non-issue” for the first time since he suffered a devastating injury in Oct. 2011. Eight months after having the ACL and MCL repaired, his knee required a second procedure in training camp last July to remove loose particles.
Despite the setback, Lichtensteiger rebounded to start all 16 games during the 2012 season and did not miss a snap until hurting his ankle injury in Week 17. The 28-year-old was honored with the Ed Block Courage Award for his perseverance.
And with a normal offseason this spring and summer, Lichtensteiger expects the knee to be 100-percent when the 2013 season begins in September.
“It’s a much better offseason this year,” he said. “Even though the knee didn’t feel 100-percent last year, I was able to do what I wanted to do. I just had to take a little longer to get warmed up and it would be a little more sore after the game. I don’t think that’s ever going to fully go away for the rest of my life. At some point these knee injuries catch up with you down the road. That’s something I’m realistic about. But as far as football goes for this year, it’s going to be a non-issue.”