- The Washington Times - Friday, August 5, 2011

From his vantage point on the sideline, LaRon Landry isn’t worried.

He insists that his ailing left Achilles’ tendon is getting better with each passing day. Problem is, each day puts the Washington Redskins’ strong safety closer to the start of the regular season without any certainty he’ll be available to play.

“Everything is positive,” Landry said after Friday morning’s practice. “I’m making strides, so it’s getting closer.”

His predicament is a bit confounding, though. Landry was playing at a Pro Bowl level under defensive coordinator Jim Haslett last season despite suffering from heel pain. The Redskins placed him on the season-ending injured reserve list last Dec. 13 because wanted to be cautious and make sure his Achilles’ tendon didn’t rupture while playing out the string in another lost season.

But more than seven months later, he’s still not able to play.

Landry said he has spent that time rehabilitating at Performance Enhancement Professionals in Arizona. He was diagnosed with microtears in the tendon.

He received shockwave therapy, a treatment in which high-energy shockwaves are sent into the foot to facilitate healing.

He also received platelet-rich plasma injections. It’s a process in which blood is drawn; the platelets are concentrated and then injected back into his heel.

Because of the lockout, Landry could not rehabilitate at team headquarters under the supervision of team trainers and doctors. He doesn’t believe that has delayed his progress, though.

“Nature still would have took its course,” said Landry, who’s entering his fifth NFL season. “It still needed time to heal. About a month ago, it just started turning its corner. Now I’m able to do strengthening drills to build it up. But for the most part, I have to let it calm down first.”

Landry said the tendon no longer hurts, but it is weak. He did strengthening and balance exercises on the practice field Friday morning under the supervision of a Redskins’ trainer.

The clock is ticking. And there’s an additional incentive to expedite his return. This is the final year of his contract, and he’ll cash in if he can sustain his level of play from last season.

“I’m going to play my style of play, make plays, make tackles,” he said. “The sky is the limit for me. I’m not worrying about a new contract. We’ll discuss that when the season’s over I guess.”

• Rich Campbell can be reached at rcampbell@washingtontimes.com.

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