For the time being Clay Matthews is preparing as if he'll be playing Saturday in the Green Bay Packers' preseason opener at the Tennessee Titans.
The Packers are not known to take chances with players, especially those with injury concerns during the preseason. But Matthews doesn't feel as if he's being limited by his surgically repaired thumb.
"I've been very critical of myself, watching film, as far as really looking at if the hand's an issue," said Matthews. "But I can say it's definitely coming along tremendously. Obviously, I'm getting more comfortable each and every day.
"As I continue to say, it's still not 100 percent, but it's getting close. It's getting stronger each and every day, and I feel good about the progress I'm making, probably a little slower than in years prior obviously with overcoming injury. But with that being said we're moving in a great direction, along with the defense, so I don't see there to be any limitations with not only the preseason games but the upcoming season."
Matthews broke his thumb twice during the 2013 season—the medical term being a Bennett's fracture at the base of his thumb—missing five full games.
The Packers outside linebacker was withheld from practice during the team's offseason program in May and June as a precautionary measure, but he's been taking part in every session since training camp opened in late July.
Head coach Mike McCarthy has yet to decide on playing time for his starters in Saturday's game, but it's possible Matthews could be on the field for at least a handful of plays, which would represent yet another hurdle in a long line of hurdles to overcome on his way from coming back from injury.
"I haven't gotten that far yet," said McCarthy. "I really wanted to get through (Wednesday). We'll talk as a staff (Thursday) after we get done with the work with the players, and then we'll give the play time to the players Saturday morning before they practice. We'll see how everybody checks out medically first."
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