The left guard had five procedures done after spraining his ankle early into the 2015 season and joined his teammates on the field for the first time since September on Monday.
Redskins left guard Shawn Lauvao returned to the practice field for the first time since last September after undergoing five different ankle and foot procedures. He was activated off the PUP list on Monday and went right to work with his fellow offensive linemen.
He consistently praised the medical and training staff, which he said did a phenomenal job with building a recovery plan for him. After missing the team's first three training camp practices, he was just happy to be back on the field.
"It felt good, man," Lauvao said. "The biggest thing was just getting your legs under yourself. Obviously they've had about four or five days of practice, so at this point I'm just trying to kind of get my wind back."
Lauvao was placed on Injured Reserve when he sprained his ankle against the Giants during Week 3 of the 2015 season. Over the course of several months he had a total of five procedures, including two major surgeries, done to his ankle and feet to clean up lingering issues he had accrued throughout his career. Lauvao said that he could already feel a difference after one day of practice.
"It's kind of hard to play this game pain-free," Lauvao said. "Honestly I feel good. Otherwise, they threw me in the fire, but sink or swim, that's how it goes."
The Arizona State product had originally intended to be ready for OTAs, but pushed back the timeline to ensure he was fully healthy for training camp. His last procedure was in January, and he started working out again about a month later.
Throughout offseason workouts, he was able to sit in on meetings with the offensive line group, which kept him mentally sharp.
"[Offensive line coach] Bill [Callahan] does a phenomenal job with just keeping us prepped up, so honestly I felt like another coach out there," Lauvao said. "We have a pretty smart room so it didn't seem like too much of a bother."
Lauvao started in 15 games in 2014 and the first three games of 2015 before getting injured. He'll have competition with Spencer Long, who received most of the reps at left guard during OTAs and minicamp, but looked fluid on Monday as he aims to work up his strength.
"You're bound to get hurt. I don't know if there's anybody that's played this game and not been hurt," Lauvao said. "You might get broken but you put yourself back together. ..I'm just really grateful just to be back out there, be back with the Hogs 2.0."