But Tuesday, less than three months after the Aug. 1 procedure, Harvin was back on the practice field with the Seahawks. The receiver/returner/runner who was acquired in a March trade with the Minnesota Vikings was limited in what he could do – and was allowed to do – but even that was a needed step toward playing in a game for the first time since Nov. 4 last season against the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.
“At first, I was kind of listening to (the doctors) thinking it could be season-ending, or six-to-eight months is what they were thinking,” said Harvin, whose post-practice Q&A session with the media was punctuated by a series of smiles. “But after I prayed on it and after I had the surgery, I was already picking my leg up the night after they did the surgery and I was already riding a (stationary) bike.
“So there was no doubt in my mind at that point that I could make a quick recovery.”
As for when Harvin might be able to play his first game for the Seahawks, coach Pete Carroll answered that question the same way he has since Harvin was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list on Aug. 27 – and even warned that it would continue to be his answer no matter how many times he is asked.
“Percy got started today,” Carroll said. “Limited involvement in practice today, but he was out there running around. He looked good. He looked quick and ready to take the next step – which is the next time we come back on Thursday.
“We’re going to do it one day at a time.”
Asked again about Harvin and the possibility of him playing in Monday night’s game against the Rams in St. Louis, Carroll offered, “We’re going to go one day at a time. This will be one of those things I’ll probably say the same thing every time you ask me.”
Harvin did not want to have the surgery, but realized it was necessary because a bone in the hip was hindering his full range of motion while running – and walking, and even sleeping.
“There was a lot of pain. Certain movements hurt real bad,” he said. “It just got to the point where it was getting real tough to pick up my leg. I just had to get it done. I’m glad I got it done. I was confident in the surgery.”
Tuesday, Harvin was just glad to be back.
“Oh man, today was an excellent day, just to be back in the building around my guys,” he said. “There’s been a lot of traveling back and forth to New York (where the surgery was performed as well as some of the rehab). It’s been a long ride, but it’s been all worth it. I’m just ready to get back to work with my guys and get back on the field.”
When on the field, Harvin has been a force on multiple levels. Before injuring an ankle in the Week 9 game against the Seahawks last season, Harvin was leading the league with 60 receptions and also averaging 35.7 yards on kickoff returns.
He steps back into an offense that is familiar, because Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was Harvin’s OC during his first two seasons with the Vikings – when Harvin caught 60 and 71 passes.
“So I feel confident in the offense.”
As for when Harvin might be a part of that familiar offense in a game, he offered a variation of Carroll’s familiar theme.
“It’s all day-to-day,” he said. “I want to play as soon as possible. But we all want to be smart in this thing. So we put a plan together and we’re just going to take it day-by-day and see how I feel.”
How does Harvin pace himself when getting back is something he wants so badly?
“It’s hard,” he said. “Just working out when I first started, just doing the 50-percent, 60-percent things was very difficult for me. I know one pace, and that’s full stride. So it’s been tough. But I know at the same time I’ve got to take progressions to not have any setbacks and to hurt the team any further.”