Injured Rutgers commit eyeing camp

Sam Bergen

East Stroudsburg (Pa.) High linebacker Sam Bergen had surgery three weeks ago to repair a torner anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The rehab can be grueling and brutal, but at least he knows what to expect. His junior season was cut short by the same injury to his left knee. Bergen talks about his rehab plan, and his timetable for returning to the field.

East Stroudsburg (Pa.) High middle linebacker Sam Bergen plans to be running by the end of April. A month later, he figures his surgically repaired right knee will be healed enough for him to resume most football activities.

So, according to the timetable he mapped out with his physicians, being ready for the start of August training camp shouldn't be a problem for the Rutgers commit.

"I'm definitely trying to play,'' Bergen said. "The doctor said one of the players involved with the Giants had an operation the same time I did and he should be ready to go by NFL camp. So, I'm definitely trying to get ready.''

Bergen underwent surgery Nov. 24 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. If he seems a bit matter of fact about the rehab, it is based on experience.

Bergen missed much of his junior season after tearing the same ligament in his left knee. "(The right knee) is still a little sore, but nothing too bad,'' Bergen said. "I started lifting again, so it's just a matter of time. It's a pretty straight forward process.

"After the five-month period, that's when I can run again. Then, after the sixth month period I'm cleared to do pretty much anything else.''

Like last time, New York Giants team physician Dr. Russell Warren performed the surgery, and Lehigh University strength and conditioning coach Eric Markovcy will assist Bergen in the rehab process.

"(Markovcy) was a big part of my recovery last year, so I'm definitely going to work with him again,'' Bergen said. "It's really comforting because last year I came back and there were no problems at all with my left knee. I had full confidence with everyone I worked with last year, so I'm going to do the same thing and I'll be back stronger than ever.''

Immediately after Bergen suffered the injury during an Oct. 30 game against Hazelton (Pa.), the Rutgers coaching staff told him not to worry because his commitment would be honored.

"They've been great,'' Bergen said. "They've been supporting me the whole way. I'm in contact with them and it's going good.''

Bergen was in Piscataway, N.J., on an unofficial visit for the Scarlet Knights' regular season finale against West Virginia, and will make his official visit the weekend of Jan. 22.

He also plans to pile up the mileage in the spring before enrolling for summer school.

"I'll be down for a lot of spring practices,'' Bergen said. "I'll be around.''

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