Jason Kelce settled into his locker at the NovaCare Complex on Tuesday afternoon, knowing full well a lengthy media session was to follow. It had been a month since the Eagles' starting center went down with a sports hernia injury in the Eagles' Week 3 win over Washington.
Before any questions were asked, Kelce turned to reporters and asked, "What's up, fellas?"
Jason Kelce is back training with the team, and boy does it feel good.
Kelce participated in the Eagles' training session on Tuesday, his first training action since the injury and subsequent surgery. His involvement in the team's drills was limited, and for the moment he's taking things one day at a time.
"Very limited," Kelce explained Tuesday. "We're just in the process of seeing how everything feels. Everything felt pretty good. Just didn't really hit anything for the most part. Did some movements, getting back to moving like an offensive lineman."
Kelce explained he's not even thinking about a timetable right now, and that it's all a matter of feeling out the progress.
"Nothing's really changed," Kelce said. "Just kind of taking it one day at a time and seeing how it feels."
Kelce, widely regarded as one of the most talented centers in the league, didn't miss a game last season, when he was named the No. 1 center in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. In this, Kelce's second year in head coach Chip Kelly's system, the fourth-year center will have to get back into Chip Kelly shape on the go.
"I don't think it'll take that long to get back in (shape)," Kelce said. "Just this week of practice, that'll be enough to get me back and ready in game conditioning. Since I've been out, pretty much since the injury, I've been able to do cardio work to keep up my conditioning for the most part."
Still, he admitted he has a little ways to go until he's really ready to play in a game. Conditioning isn't the only part; it's feeling physically ready for a 60-minute fight and on Tuesday Kelce said he wasn't feeling all the way back just yet.
"I'm definitely not 100 percent," he explained. "There's still some tightness in the groin area. But that's kind of to be expected, and that's what we're working to get over in the next week or two."
Kelce explained that this week, almost a month out from his surgery, was the ideal time for him to get back on the practice field and give it a go.
There was no date circled on the calendar, but this week was the goal, and he hit it.
"That was pretty much the timetable for the most part," Kelce explained. "Either this week or next week, after the surgery, was kind of put as a, 'Get back on the field and see how you're doing' thing."
Timetables and analyses aside, Kelce said it just felt good to finally get back out with his teammates and do what he loves - play some football.
"I'm encouraged to be back out on the field, that's for sure," Kelce said with a smile. "It's good that it feels pretty good and everybody's happy with the progress so far. Any time you're back out on the field with the guys, it feels good."