Following an offseason in which he had his hip surgically-repaired, Mike Pouncey is doing what he can to avoid being put on the Miami Dolphin’s physically unable to perform (PUP) list. In May, Pouncey underwent hip surgery to repair a torn labrum and was expected to miss up to three months. That eventually turned into a four month recovery according to a source close to Pouncey said. “Eight weeks is probably what we’re looking at,” the source said on Wednesday. The best thing that could happen would be for him to be ready by September, but there are conflicting reports about how the progress with his rehabilitation is coming.
Pouncey reportedly missed Monday’s practice because he was having his hip re-evaluated by specialists. According to several league sources, he was in New York seeking the medical clearance he needs to begin practicing with the rest of his team. While the final outcome of the evaluation wasn’t immediately known, sources did say that the results were “favorable”.
Leaving Pouncey on the PUP list is an option, however, doing so would come with some drawbacks. League rules state that anyone placed on the physically unable to perform list prior to seasons start, is unable to participate in team practices or regular season games for the first six weeks of the season. Doing so would keep Pouncey from being available to play until October 19th, which is the week 7 game against the Chicago Bears. They could on the other hand, activate Pouncey by removing him from the PUP list by Saturday. Approaching it this way, would allow the Dolphins to work Pouncey back into the practice sessions with the team during the regular season, and then start him when he is healthy enough to return. It certainly allows the team to be more flexible, but also leaves them down one player.
Pouncey has been adamant about not wanting to be placed on the PUP list, with the determination that he’ll be ready to go by September. “I’m just praying that they don’t put me on PUP,” Pouncey said last week. “I’ve been thinking I’m ahead of schedule, I feel really good. I just can’t wait until they really just let me loose.” He has been rehabbing with team trainers during every practice, but only when he is able to return to the center position on the offensive line, will the real test on his surgically repaired hip begin. I think it’s up to coach and the team doctors when I’ll be ready to practice,” Pouncey said. “In my head right now I feel like I can because I’m a competitor, but they’re just taking the safety route and making sure that it’s all the way healed up and that I won’t have any relapses once I come back.” Safety is absolutely important, but the Dolphins need their center back, and hopefully he can make his return before the season get’s too far along.