Michael Mauti participated in individual drills at the Vikings minicamp on Tuesday, and that’s a step ahead for the rookie linebacker who is recovering from a pair of knee surgeries over a 14-month span.
Mauti, a seventh-round draft pick out of Penn State, had surgery to repair a torn left anterior cruciate ligament during the 2011 season and again for the same injury following his 2012 season, dropping him in the draft as teams had obvious injury concerns.
“I’m right where I want to be right now,” said Mauti, who shadowed other linebackers during the team portion of Tuesday’s two-hour workout. “I wouldn’t say ahead of schedule, I wouldn’t say behind. The recovery is a very tedious process. You have to grind it out.”
The 6-2, 240-pounder wrote letters to all 32 NFL general managers before the draft to express his love for football, so there’s little doubt he’s determined to recover completely.
After Tuesday’s practice, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier lauded Mauti’s mind-set.
“He seems to be a guy that is pretty driven,” Frazier said. “He has a good idea of what thinks he can accomplish and how he can get it done. [He’s] a guy with a single focus, which is not a bad thing at the position we are asking him to play.”
Mauti said he would like to be at 100 percent during training camp, which starts in late July.
“Going through the individual stuff, I’m cutting as hard as I can,” he said “Nothing’s holding me back at this point, I’m just basically teaching those muscles to fire and be as explosive as they were.”
Chad Greenway can sympathize with Mauti. Greenway, the veteran linebacker, missed his rookie season in 2006 after tearing the ACL in his left knee during the Vikings’ first preseason game.
Greenway is sitting out this minicamp after having arthroscopic surgery on the same knee last week. He said the surgery was very minor and he’ll be full-go at training camp next month.
“I didn’t expect to be doing it, but I didn’t want to be that guy in training camp or Week 1 saying ‘I gotta miss two games,’ ” Greenway said.
Greenway didn’t give details on the arthroscopic surgery, but said it wasn’t related to the knee operation seven years ago.
“It’s probably just 7,000 snaps between then and now, just part of how I was built,” he said. “I hope it’s a credit to how hard I play, but it just is what it is.”
• Receiver Greg Childs, recovering from surgery to repair both patellar tendons, also worked through some individual drills Tuesday.
• Center John Sullivan (microfracture knee surgery) and defensive end Jared Allen (shoulder surgery), like Green-way, were in attendance but did not participate. Frazier said he believed there would be “no restrictions” on Sullivan once training camp starts.