Nearly nine months removed from back surgery, Linden Gaydosh is frothing at the mouth to get back on the field.
And with good reason.
After spending his NFL rookie season on the Carolina Panthers injured reserve list following a procedure to fix a herniated disc that was pressing on his sciatic nerve, it’s been 17 months since the former University of Calgary Dinos defensive tackle played a meaningful snap in an actual game.
Sure, there was the 2013 CFL Combine last March — a showing that propelled him to the No. 1-overall selection in the CFL Draft last May when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats called his name, only to see him sign with the Panthers days later — and a sprinkling of mini-camp workouts and a truncated training camp in late July before he hurt his back.
But that’s not nearly enough time on the football field for a prospect with raw talent by NFL standards.
“Now, I’m fully back 100%,” Gaydosh said recently from his hometown of Peace River, Alta. “Now that I look back on it, the time has flown. But during the process? It took forever.
“The way I learn best is by doing it on the field. Whether it’s walking through or going full speed, I need the muscles to go through it to have the muscle memory to remember it. It’s going to be a bit of a process there, but at least I know I have an advantage on the mental side right now.”