Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta remains optimistic that he can return to the field this fall, but said he is dealing with "uncharted waters" as he tries to return from his second major hip injury in as many seasons.
Speaking with 105.7 The Fan on Friday to promote his role in a charity softball game this weekend -- no he isn't playing, he's just the manager -- Pitta said of his recovery: "I'm doing well. It's a process, so I'm taking it one step at a time and doing everything that is asked of me from a training standpoint, and we'll see where we're at in a few months."
Pitta is trying to return to action this fall after missing almost all of last season with a fractured and dislocated hip suffered in the Week 3 game at Cleveland when he crumpled to the ground without being hit. Pitta had initially fractured the hip in training camp in 2013, which cost him most of that season.
Pitta has been present at the Ravens OTA workouts the past two weeks, but he has been limited to individual drills and some pass catching and agility drills off to the side.
"Dennis is out there for about half the practice, and he’s doing a nice job, too, so we’re not counting him out at all," coach John Harbaugh said after Wednesday's workout.
When Pitta suffered his first hip injury, he was sidelined for about five months; the injury occurred in July, the Ravens placed him on injured reserve-designated to return, and he returned for the final four games of that season. The Ravens then re-signed Pitta to a five-year, $32 million deal ($16 million guaranteed) last offseason.
But Pitta, who turns 30 this month, told 105.7 The Fan that, "With these injuries, there's no real schedule. There's just not a lot of research on it, there's not a lot of information on it, so we're kind of wading through uncharted waters here. I'd love to say that I'm ahead of schedule but we just don't know.
"I'm feeling good, I'm feeling optimistic about where I'm at in my recovery, but obviously it's still a long journey and we'll continue to work hard."
If Pitta returns, the Ravens will get back one of their top offensive weapons and one of quarterback Joe Flacco's favorite targets. Pitta had 61 catches for 669 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012, his last full season. But the Ravens obviously are preparing for the possibility that Pitta cannot return, as they drafted two tight ends this year -- Maxx Williams in the second round and Nick Boyle in the fifth.
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