Hog Blog with Phillip Daniels
By: Phillip Daniels 
Posted: 2009-09-09
Category: Washington Redskins News
I would assume that everyone would like to know about my injury and how it happened last year so I would like to start there because it has been well documented that I injured my knee on the first play of practice at last year’s training camp. While rushing the passer from my DE spot along with Cornelius Griffin at DT, I came around the corner to find Cornelius on the ground to avoid hitting Jason Campbell and I had to leap over him and avoid hitting Jason myself. As I landed on my left leg while trying to avoid injury to Jason, I hyper-extended my left knee, tearing two ligaments. The pain was really bad and it felt as if my knee was not even there. As I held my knee in and waited for the training staff to get to me, which seemed like forever, I was thinking that this is really bad and all the hard work I put in just went to waste. I realized that something was really wrong when I got inside and was headed to the shower as my knee nearly folded in half. Even after this, I just kept telling myself that my mind is playing tricks on me and I will be ok. I just kept telling myself that I will be back to play this year and it was just hyper-extended. I then left the building to go get a MRI on my knee and after that I got the bad news. A team doctor who went down with me and my wife for the MRI was standing in the hallway and the doctor told me that my year was over and that I tore not one but two ligaments in my knee (ACL and LCL). All I could do was cry and I did this for the rest of the day because when you love a sport as much as I do, it's never easy to have it taken away from you and after all the hard work I had put in during the off-season powerlifting and getting as strong as possible.

After surgery it was off to rehab and I was going to rehab as hard as I could to prove people wrong that I could come back no matter what my age was. To tell you the truth, after surgery I was already a week ahead of schedule in that the powerlifting that I did in the off-season helped me retain a lot of the muscle that would have otherwise been lost through all the cutting of the muscle tissue. That's when I knew that God prepared me for surgery through powerlifting. Rehab was tough in that it was two and a half hours long and a lot of crazy exercises that really test all the small muscle groups. I would come out of rehab soaked in full body sweats from all the work I put in. When they would tell me to do 3 sets of 10, I would do 3 sets of 20. I doubled everything up to get back faster. After doing rehab for about four months, I started adding squats back to my routine as part of my rehab process. I started out doing 105 lbs for sets and would ease my way up every week and by February I was well over 500 lbs which was great considering I tore two ligaments and it was only a little over six months since I hurt my knee in July. Everyday I would gain more confidence in my knee and as it got stronger, I did more. I finally got back into full powerlifting in March and started gaining all the strength and confidence back and by April I was good to go.

Hurting my knee made me stronger both physically and mentally. Going into camp this year I felt better than I had ever felt in any point during my career. I guess it felt great to make believers out of all the people who said I could not come back at my age and do the things that I had done before the injury. Well to all of you non-believers, I'm back and better than ever. Age will never be a factor when you take care of yourself, eat right and have faith. The man above had a different plan for me. Nothing in life happens for no reason and I feel like He has made me not only better but stronger. Work for me is not finished yet and I wanted to come back to help my team win and I probably won't stop until we win the big game.

This week we will face the New York Giants. They have had our number these last few years but I feel that in the NFC East, anything can happen. This will be a very physical game and I feel the team that makes the fewest mistakes will come out on top. First games are always so hard to play because you don't know what new wrinkles the other team will put in if any at all. There will not be any sneaking up this week in that both teams know each other so well. So I guess it's time to strap it up and face the man in front of you and be as physical as possible.

I would like to take this time to thank everyone for their prayers and support. It will never go unappreciated and because of your love, I am back to 100%. As prayers go out, blessings come in and I feel that it is truly a blessing from God that I am back and doing the things that I am doing. Remember that God has a plan for us all and if you are going through some tough times right now, just remember your blessing is right around the corner if you keep your faith.
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