As players report to training camps around the league, you’re going to hear many talk about how they feel better than ever after ACL surgery, or shoulder problems, or whatever injury plagued them the year before.
But for Ravens center Matt Birk, the problem was an unusual one, at least by NFL standards.
Birk had surgery to help with the varicose veins in his legs, which had bothered him for several seasons.
“Well, you guys can tell that my legs are tiptop now,” Birk joked with reporters. “Fueling multiple offers to model them both.”
Of course, the veteran blocker has also dealt with the usual array of knee, neck, elbow and ankle problems, but said the vein issue would leave him fatigued, and he was glad to get it taken care of. Birk missed most of the preseason last year, but said he was glad to be in camp this summer, acknowledging the benefits of camp.
“I think you understand that it does have a purpose, and as much as you might try and deceive yourself as a player and think that you don’t need it, you do,” Birk said. “It’s important from a team standpoint to be out here and going through the two-a-days and doing the hard stuff, putting your body through it to get it ready, kind of get it calloused, get it ready to endure the physical rigors of the season.
“To be honest with yourself, you embrace it. It’s part of the process and also to your biological clock, it ticks this time of year, late July, August. As a football player, you’re supposed to be sweating on the football field.”
And since Under Armour is a Ravens sponsor, maybe Birk can get some support hose out of the deal to help him get through it.