Out since October, Kory Lichtensteiger returned to practice on Wednesday, as he's eligible to practice the next two weeks and can play in the playoffs if the Redskins qualify.
It had been two months since Washington Redskins center Kory Lichtenstieger had suited up beside his teammates, but he did just that on Wednesday afternoon.
A countdown of the Top 10 images of Redskins center Kory Lichtensteiger during the 2014 season.
Lichtensteiger practiced inside of the team's Indoor Practice Facility Wednesday for the first time since being placed on the short-term Injured Reserve list on Nov. 10 with a neck injury.
While Lichtensteiger can practice with the team for the final two week sof the regular season, he cannot return to game action until the playoffs if the Redskins make it there by clinching their second NFC East title in four seasons.
"Just knock off some rust really, because it's been probably 11 weeks since I've even practiced," Lichtensteiger said of his goal for Wednesday's practice. "So it hasn't just been the six weeks of IR. I was out four weeks, and a Bye Week before that, so I saw today and the next two weeks is just kind of to get back in the swing of things. Hopefully make these playoffs and I can come back and contribute in some way so I got to get back in midseason form to be able to help out."
The Bowling Green product said "if we make the playoffs, I'm good to go."
"It's just, I don't know how they plan on using me when that happens, but yeah, I'll be ready to go for sure," Lichtensteiger added.
Before being placed on Injured Reserve this season, Lichtensteiger was a consistent face in the starting lineup for the Redskins at both the guard and center position since 2011.
"I've been putting my own kind of position work in, strength training and conditioning, but there's really nothing you can do to emulate being out there practicing, playing football," Lichtensteiger said. "You can't get in that kind of shape on your own. You can't, no matter how hard you work on your own doing position drills, you can't simulate game speed and the exact football technique that you need to block these guys."
Lichtensteiger, with a smile, admitted that his time away on Injured Reserve has, in a way, actually made him fresher for a potential postseason run.
"It's nice to feel good this time of year," Lichtensteiger said. "Legs feel good, shoulders feel good, strength feels good, so I feel pretty fortunate honestly and this late in December to feel this great."
Lichtensteiger has remained active with the team while recovering, attending practices on the sideline and even remaining in the film room.
He also served as a veteran leader for Josh LeRibeus as he made his first career starts at center after making the move there during the offseason.
"I kept going to meetings, I kept going to practice, they were nice enough to let me travel, so from that standpoint I feel like I was still part of the team," Lichtensteiger said. "Whereas most guys on IR you're just kind of dismissed. You go do your own thing and see you next year. But I definitely miss contributing and celebrating after a win and feeling like you helped out. There's not many 'attaboys' handed to a guy that was just watching on the sideline through a big victory."