Thurmond finally returns to practice

Posted Oct 22, 2012

After almost 12 months of rehab and two surgeries on his fractured left leg, Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond practiced with the team on Monday.

The smile on Walter Thurmond’s face in the locker room said it all.

The Seahawks’ third-year cornerback had just practiced for the first time since last October after being activated off the physically-unable-to-perform (PUP) list. It was only a “Bonus Monday” workout, and a shorter-than-usual practice at that.

But to Thurmond, it was a quantum leap in his return from having fractured his left fibula in last season’s Week 7 loss to the Browns in Cleveland. Not to mention a return that was delayed because he re-fractured the same bone in March and had to start the rehab process all over again after another surgery.

“It was fun,” said Thurmond, a fourth-round draft choice in 2010 from the University of Oregon. “It felt good to be back there competing against some live people instead of just air. It’s been a long time. I’m just glad to be back.

“If I didn’t re-fracture it, I would have been back already. It’s just one of those things. It was the exact same rehab and getting back in shape and everything. So I had to do it twice, and that wasn’t fun at all.”

Thurmond has a three-week window to practice, during which time the team can add him to the 53-man roster at any time.

“The bright spot is to see that Walter Thurmond got back for the first time,” coach Pete Carroll said. “He looked very quick.

“He worked really hard to be in shape with the trainers so that he could start practicing and not have to ease him into practice. He looked like he had really worked hard.”

Thurmond was eligible to come off PUP last week, but the coaches delayed his return because of the short week to prepare for the Thursday night game against the 49ers in San Francisco. Whether he is added to the roster for Sunday’s game against the Lions in Detroit remains to be seen.

“It’s great to have him back,” Carroll said. “It’s a real positive for him, because it’s been a long haul. Hopefully he can hang. We’ll see what that means. We’ll just take it one week at a time and see where it goes. I don’t have any idea what we’ll do at this point for this weekend.”

After taking it one week at a time – one month at a time – for almost a year, Thurmond can wait a little longer.

“Just giving the coaches confidence, I think that’s the biggest thing,” he said when asked the key to making the obvious next step. “Just showing that I can still play like I was playing before I got injured. So I’m trying to prove that in practice.”