Arrelious Benn: 'Way ahead of schedule'

If you saw Arrelious Benn working out with some of his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates on a recent day, you never would have guessed the wide receiver had surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament just about six months ago.

He was running and catching passes as a group of Bucs, led by quarterback Josh Freeman, went through drills. He even stayed on the field for some extra work as most of the other players strolled off.

“I’m way ahead of schedule,’’ Benn said.

A second-round draft pick last season, Benn started slowly but started to come on around midseason. But his season was cut short when he injured his knee in a Week 16 game against Seattle.

Benn wouldn’t reveal what kind of timetable he originally was given for a return when he had the surgery. But he said he thinks he’ll be ready for training camp if it starts on time.

Benn did most of his rehab work in Tampa and also was working out with backup quarterback Rudy Carpenter in California in recent weeks.

“I can run straight as fast as I want, but I still want to take it light,’’ Benn said.

Benn said he’s able to make cuts on the knee that wasn’t injured and should be able to do that on both knees soon.

“I’m new to the ACL thing, but I didn’t think I’d be back this fast,’’ Benn said. “I feel like it never happened. I’ve got to be smart. I’ve still got things coming back together in my knee.’’

Benn said he was cleared to run at full speed about three weeks ago and plans to continue taking part in Freeman’s workouts.