Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Maake Kemoeatu suffered a torn Achilles tendon in August, forcing him to miss the entire 2009 season and perhaps putting his career in jeopardy beyond that.
But Darin Gantt of the Rock Hill Herald reports that Kemoeatu, who needed one surgery to repair his Achilles and another to help the wound heal properly, is making progress in a very difficult rehabilitation process.
“Everything’s going great, but it’s very painful for him,” Kemoeatu’s agent Ken Vierra said. “They’re working him pretty hard. Right now, he’s got to pay the price. He’s getting the musculature back, breaking up the scar tissue, and that’s a painful process.”
More than six months after the injury, Kemoeatu is currently described as “several weeks” away from being ready to jog on a treadmill. So he’s certainly not close to being back on the field.
But the enormous Kemoeatu is keeping his weight in check — by his standards — by staying under 370 pounds.
If he can return to the field healthy in 2010, his huge presence in the middle of the defensive line will be a big help to the Panthers.