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Leonard Hankerson Returns To Practice

Posted Oct 15, 2014

For the first time since suffering a torn LCL during the 2013 season, Leonard Hankerson on Wednesday returned to practice, completing yet another goal in his recovery.

Washington Redskins wide receiver Leonard Hankerson said he’d been waiting for Wednesday's practice “like a kid at a candy store.”

For the first time since suffering a torn lateral collateral ligament (LCL) against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2013 season, the fourth-year wide receiver was back on the field with his teammates.

“I feel like I’m at 100 percent,” Hankerson told the media on Wednesday before his first practice of the season. “I just can’t wait to get out there and run around.”

Hankerson, along with defensive end Stephen Bowen, was placed on the team’s Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list to begin the season.

Now, the team has 21 days to decide whether it wants to keep Bowen and or Hankerson on its 53-man roster, or whether it wants to relegate either of them to the season-ending IR list.

Hankerson, a Miami product, said he is hoping to knock the rust off over the next three weeks.

“I know I’m rusty,” he said. “But, hey I’ve just got to get out there and practice. I’ve been [catching the ball] the last couple months. I got to catch the ball, I got to run routes, I’ve been doing that stuff everyday so I just got to go out there in practice and do what I can do.”

The 6-foot-2 wideout said his first goal is to help the defense prepare for its opponent, with Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans at FedExField.

“I’m going to be doing scout team for the defense to help those guys out,” he said. “I’m not just going to get out there and be with ones or with the twos. I’ve got to work my way back in to it.”

While he certainly wishes that he was on the field with his teammates during the first six weeks of the season, Hankerson believes the extra time spent rehabbing will actually benefit him during the later stage of the season.

“I could complain and be all upset about missing those six weeks, but it’s only made me that much more ready,” he said. “I feel good right now. Those six weeks, they flew by, but my knee feels really good.”

Before the injury, Hankerson appeared on track for a career year last season.

In the 2013 season opener, Hankerson hauled in two touchdowns, while recording at least 50 yards in three different games.

When he went down, Hankerson admitted it was tough not being able to help his teammates in the course of battle.

“Of course, that’s with every athlete, every competitor,” he said. “We always want to be out there to help. We always feel like we can do something to help the team, help the teammates out.

“I haven’t been out there to practice with the guys for a while, missed training camp, OTAs, and all that stuff, but I just looking forward to being out there and running around.”

The time away, however, did help him in one way.

“Just being away so long, it just puts how much you love this game, how much you miss, how much you miss being out there with your team,” Hankerson said. “It was a long process, but the day is finally here and I can get back out there and run around.”

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