Of all the storylines heading into the 2014 season, the recovery of Tyrann Mathieu is one of the most important for the Arizona Cardinals.
The defensive back is recovering from a torn ACL and LCL suffered in a Week 14 win over the St. Louis Rams, and has been making steady progress as training camp nears.
Mathieu, speaking to the NFL Network, said he's feeling great right now.
"The recovery is going well," he said. "I have a great team around me. My teammates have been great supporters so I'm in positive spirits right now. I'm just looking forward to that day they let me get back on the field."
When that will be is a mystery.
The Cardinals understandably would like to get Mathieu back on the field as soon as possible. His impact was felt in a truncated season last year, as he finished with 68 total tackles, two interceptions, one sack and one forced fumble.
But even then, the team is making sure not to rush the 22-year-old back onto the field, believing a cautious approach will better serve both the team and the player. After all, there is a promising career to think about.
Asked what the team is looking to do with him in training camp, which begins July 25, Mathieu said he wasn't sure what the plan is.
"I'll probably be doing the same thing I did in the spring as far as making sure I'm communicating with the defensive backs, making sure all those guys are on point," he said. "Hopefully I'll be able to get out there and be able to put on at least a helmet and some shoulder pads and run around and be a football player again."