Nearly three months after having hip surgery, Seattle Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin said he feels like he's ready to play. But he's going to take it day by day after getting back on the practice field Tuesday.
"Today was an excellent day," Harvin said after practice Tuesday. "It's been a long ride, but it's been worth it and I'm just ready to get back to work with my guys."
Seattle's next game is Monday night at St. Louis against the Rams. Does Harvin think he can be ready to go in a week?
"I want to play as soon as possible," Harvin said. "But we're trying to be smart about it and we have a plan in place. I know one pace, and that's full stride, so it's been tough. At the same time, I have to take progressions to not have any setbacks and hurt the team any further."
Harvin had surgery to repair a torn labrum, a procedure that normally has a three- to four-month recovery period at minimum.
"At first I was wondering if it would be season-ending," Harvin said. "But the night after the surgery, I was already picking my leg up and riding a bike, so there was no doubt in my mind at that point that I could make a quick recovery."
Harvin said he has no issues with his hip now.
"It feels great," he said. "I haven't had any setbacks and I'm running pretty good. I'm doing all the things I was doing previously. It's just a matter of getting back in the swing of things, and I'll be ready to go."
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the team will continue to be cautious with Harvin's return. Seattle has three weeks to make a decision about bringing him off the physically unable to perform list.
"Percy got started today," Carroll said Tuesday. "It was limited involvement in practice, but he was out there running around. He looked good and looks quick. He's ready to take the next step, which happens when we come back on Thursday. We're going to take it one day at a time."
Carroll was asked what he needs to see from Harvin to believe Harvin is ready to play.
"He's got to get through normal days of practice, and we'll see how he handles it," Carroll said. "The thought we've been going with all along is to take the conservative approach and make sure he's healthy. We're going to continue to do that. We'll take our time and see how he goes. The workload will increase as we go through the week and next week."
Harvin, who was acquired in a trade with Minnesota in March before signing a five-year, $67 million deal, said he knew in late July that he couldn't get through the season without having the surgery.
"I had a bone that was blocking me from my full range of motions, and it was a lot of pain,'' he said. "Certain movement hurt real bad. It was tough for me, coming to a new team and not knowing how everybody would perceive it. I didn't want to have [the surgery], but I knew it was something I had to get done."
Despite missing most of training camp with his new team, Harvin said he knows the offense well, having played under Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell's system when Bevell was in Minnesota.
"I feel very comfortable with it," Harvin said. "Some of the wording has changed, but the concepts of what he's trying to get done is the same. And I was doing a lot of film study during this, so I feel confident in the offense."
Harvin said he loves working with the other Seattle receivers and just wants to contribute to the mix.
"I'm just trying to fit in and not try to do too much," he said. "They will plug me in, and we'll keep rolling. I don't look at it saying I can do it better than anybody else. We all just enjoy going out there and not knowing who's going to get the ball, using everybody and letting Russell [Wilson] take his shots.
"Me and Russell were working throughout the weekend. Our chemistry is fine. It's just a matter of getting the repetitions."
Harvin hasn't played in an NFL game since Nov. 4 last season when he injured his ankle in a game at Seattle. He was asked about his frustration level after missing so much time.
"I can't describe it," he said. "I have a lot of things built up in me that I'm ready to unleash on the field. I'm going to take my time with it, but when it's time to explode, I will."