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Sergio Kindle ready to return to field, make it on 'SportsCenter'

By Matt Vensel

5:30 PM EDT, June 13, 2011

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I’ve got good news for fans holding out hope that Sergio Kindle will suit up for the Ravens in 2011 (and beyond): The second-year linebacker told The San Antonio Express-News he was cleared to resume playing football in March and he already has visions of watching himself on “SportsCenter” highlights dancing through his head.

“First and foremost, we have to wait for the lockout,” said Kindle, who missed the entire 2010 season with a fractured skull he suffered when he fell down a flight of stairs the week before training camp. “But I got cleared to play again in March. So I have to get back into it and see how it goes from there. Of course, I got cleared, but until I actually do contact, that's what's going to determine [my progress].”

Mike Preston of The Baltimore Sun reported last week that Kindle had been cleared for contact “by almost every medical expert in Baltimore.” But Kindle admitting it publicly is good news for fans of the Ravens, who were tied for 27th in the NFL in sacks in 2010 and are in need of a pass rushing threat opposite Terrell Suggs.

Kindle said that sitting out the season was “terrible.”

“I had a skull fracture and some brain bruising. Basically, I messed up my equilibrium. I can hardly hear out of [my left] ear any more,” he said. “The doctor said it was unlikely it will come back. But it's been a while, so I've gotten used to it. ... Now I'm actually training, football training, without the contact. Now I just have to wait and see whatever the lockout does so I can give it a shot.”

He said he is so excited to get on the field in the NFL -- something that is still not a given because we don't know how he will respond to contact -- that he doesn’t “have the words” to describe it.

“I don't think I have the words. I'm trying to get on ‘SportsCenter.’ That's something I've wanted to do my whole life,” Kindle said. “That's my lifelong dream. To actually hit the field, I'll just have to give thanks, because [God’s] the one who got me there.”