Marshal Yanda’s long-awaited return to the Ravens will begin Monday. The six-time Pro Bowl right guard said Sunday that he intends to participate in the individual portion of Monday’s practice at the team’s headquarters in Owings Mills.
“I’m excited,” he said. “It’s been a process, but I’m excited to get back. I’ll start doing some individual periods tomorrow, but it’s been good.”
Yanda, 33, has not played in a game since Sept. 17, when he fractured his left ankle in the third quarter against the Cleveland Browns. His absence was extended when he injured his right shoulder while lifting weights during the offseason, requiring him to undergo surgery.
“It was one of those things where I could have possibly tried to play with it or you get it repaired and then you don’t have to worry about it,” said Yanda, who passed his physical and was removed from the physically-unable-to-perform list Saturday. “Just at that point in time, it was kind of a no-brainer just to get it fixed. I’m doing really good now, and I don’t have to worry about it now.”
Yanda said that missing the final 14 games of last season because of the broken ankle was difficult to absorb.
“It was one of the toughest things I had to deal with in a really long time, just being away from the team,” he said. “Usually, I can fight through injuries some way or another and just find a way to play, and that one was just boom, done. So that was a tough deal for me, but I’m excited to be back.”
Despite his time away, Yanda is still one of the team’s most popular players. His teammates have spoken glowingly about his return, and he was the last player off the field Sunday after agreeing to sign autographs and pose for photos.
Yanda said no plans have been made about his appearance in one of the four remaining preseason games. Instead, he is concentrating on catching up to his teammates, who have been in training camp since July 19.
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“I’ve taken the same approach and have really worked hard,” he said. “I feel like I have some rust to knock off, but I’ll have plenty of time. I start individuals tomorrow, and we’ve got a month before we play our first real game. So that will be plenty of time for me to get tuned up and get ready to play football.”