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Cardinals running backs stand around at OTAs on May 22, 2012. (Craig Grialou/Arizona Sports)
Statistically, Beanie Wells had his best season last year as an Arizona Cardinal.

He rushed for over a thousand yards (1,047) for the first time in his three- year NFL career, while his 10 touchdowns were one more than he scored in his first two seasons combined.

And to think he did all that feeling less than 100-percent.

Wells spent much of 2011 dealing with a painful right knee.

"I kind of knew early on in the season that at the end of the year this was the route we were going to have to take."

The route taken was surgery.

Wells underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his knee in January.

"We just did a scope, clean some things up," he said.

How extensive was the procedure? Did he have his meniscus repaired? "Not really meniscus," he answered. "It was a little more complicated."

Wells would offer no further details except to explain why surgery was the decision made.

"Just to take as much pressure off the knee as we could, so we didn't have this thing lingering into the season. We wanted to nip it in the bud this offseason and that's what we're doing."

Head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who sat Wells because of his knee for the regular season-finale against Seattle, echoed those thoughts.

"The goal with Beanie is to make sure that we don't struggle through like we did last year with that knee. I give him a lot of credit for fighting through that and having the kind of year that he did with his knee. We knew that we were going to have to do some things to try to get that knee better and that's what this is all about."

Wells joined his teammates Tuesday for the start of OTAs, but only as a spectator. He spent his time on the field riding the stationary bike and working with the training staff.

"(The knee) is coming along, coming along pretty good," said Wells. "No setbacks at all. I'm feeling confident about being ready when the time is right."

The time, according to Wells, is not the middle of May but "come August, when we get into training camp."

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