After undergoing surgery to repair varicose veins in his
said he feels optimistic that his legs won’t be a hindrance for him during the upcoming season.
“I feel better,” the
starting center said Tuesday, after the team’s opening day of training camp . “[The doctors] say it’ll help me feel better during the season. My leg won’t get as fatigued. So it’s a good thing.”
Birk was among the limited group of players (quarterbacks, rookies and injured veterans) who practiced Tuesday. The Ravens first full-team practice will be Thursday.
Birk, who turned 36 on Monday, has been plagued by neck, elbow and knee injuries in three years with the Ravens but has not missed a game. In 2010, he played despite a swollen knee that had to be drained at least once a week. He sat out a good portion of last year’s preseason after undergoing surgery on his left knee.
Birk’s 2011 campaign ended on a disappointing note when he and the rest of the offensive line struggled against
, who recorded six tackles (three for losses) and sacked quarterback
once. But Birk dismissed the notion that his legs contributed to that performance in the 23-20 loss to New England in the
“None,” he said. “None. That’s all I can say about that.”
Birk, who is second to inside linebacker
in terms of longevity in the
, joked that his legs look so good that he’s fielding modeling offers. On a serious note, Birk said he welcomes participating in his 15th training camp.