Arthur Brown is glad to be back on the practice field after spending the last month watching from the sidelines.
The second-round pick is recovering from surgery to repair a sports hernia, and he's gradually working his way back into the defensive rotation. He has participated in full-team drills throughout the week of mandatory minicamp, but he's only able to go through about half of practice at this point.
"I'm not [fully] back yet," Brown said after Wednesday's practice. "I'm really rehabbing and going through the process of healing. It's difficult to simulate the movements on the field inside the training room, so that's part of the recovery process. But it feels great being able to participate with the guys and get on the field."
Recovery time for a sports hernia procedure is about four to six weeks. The inside linebacker had surgery just after rookie minicamp in the first week of May, so he's still on schedule to be full-go when training camp opens up near the end of July.
Part of the rehab after a sports hernia procedure is to get back on the field to break up the scar tissue left behind after the surgery. That's known as a very painful process.
"That's part of it, really being out there and seeing where I am," Brown said. "It's about pushing and breaking up some of that tissue."
In addition to physically recovering, Brown is also trying to make up for lost time in terms of understanding the defense. He has participated in all the meetings since getting drafted, and taking that information from the meeting room to the practice field is the next step.
"It's coming. There's a lot to learn," Brown said. "I still need to learn some things here or there. I definitely have a solid grasp of the basic concept of the package, so I'm just improving day by day."
The Ravens have big expectations for Brown, whom they moved up six spots in the draft to get. He was a versatile linebacker at Kansas State, playing both inside and outside, and he had more than 100 tackles in each of the last two seasons.
He's expected to compete for a starting inside linebacker job along with Daryl Smith and Josh Bynes. Veteran Jameel McClain is expected to be the other starting inside linebacker when he returns from a neck injury.
Brown is eager to get back to full strength and thrust himself into that position battle, but he also knows that being healthy for training camp is most important.
"Considering what I'm dealing with as far as the injury, I definitely have to be patient with that," Brown said. "My goal going into training camp is definitely to take care of my body and do what I can to have a healthy recovery. Also, it's to compete. That's what we're all here for; not only for ourselves but also to make this team better. I'm definitely keeping that in mind."