“I definitely want to come back,” he said. “I don’t know exactly what is going to happen [in terms of free agency], but I expect to be around.”
Lichtensteiger emerged as the Redskins’ starter at left guard in 2010 and he was solid the first five games of last season before suffering a knee ligament injury.
He underwent surgery and since last November he has been a regular at Redskins Park rehabbing the knee.
Lichtensteiger remains on target to return to practice by June or July.
It's possible he could participate in a late spring mini-camp should the Redskins schedule one for June.
More likely Lichtensteiger will give his surgically repaired knee its first real test in training camp.
“The original expectation was eight months after surgery, but I’m not going to rush it,” he said. “At the same time, I want to get out there as soon as I can and try to earn my spot back.”
Hurt started eight games overall and had his share of ups and downs, like most rookies. He was solid in run blocking late in the season, helping the Redskins rush for 100 yards in the final six games.
Lichtensteiger and Hurt could compete for the starting job in training camp.
Lichtensteiger said he was encouraged by how the offensive line responded to injuries, as well as the suspension of left tackle
“At times it didn’t look great, but for the most part the guys we had come in there did a really good job, especially toward the end of the year when the running game got going,” he said.
He hopes that another year in the system for all the linemen helps develop cohesion heading into next season.
“You need to have guys working together and guys who have been in the system for a while so that they can understand how to be an effective blocker in this season,” he said.