Penn State’s star-in-the-making tight end can joke about it now.
The dislocated wrist and torn tendons that caused Kyle Carter to miss the end of the Nebraska game? The injury that forced him to do no more than watch his teammates’ final two victories?
And the surgery and the cast he put up with for nine or 10 weeks?
“One thing I was mad I couldn’t do, I couldn’t play video games,” Carter said today in a conference call. “My friends would play Call of Duty or NBA2K. Once I was in the smaller cast I was definitely excited to get back on the stick.”
He is back on the field, too.
Penn State’s impressive pass-catching tight end says he is nearly completely recovered. Remember, as a redshirt freshman last year the 6-foot-3, 240-pound Carter surprised many with his 36 receptions for 453 yards through only 9½ games.
He said his rehab has included catching passes for the past month or two. But even sooner, he was hauling in balls with his just his left hand and still lifting weights.
Through spring workouts he’s been practicing with his teammates but has been held out of contact drills and scrimmages for safe-guarding.
“If I had to play a game now, I could,” he said.
Carter also was praised by head coach Bill O’Brien for his tireless recovery work that had put his rehab ahead of schedule. Doctors told him, months ago, that he wouldn’t be able to practice at all this spring.
O’Brien said he expects Carter to not only be full-go for preseason camp but to be a much-improved player this season.
“I was worried (the injury) might affect my catching or blocking. It actually hasn’t,” he said. “It’s made me focus on my hands more — with blocking I make sure I keep my hands inside. With catching, I really make sure I look it in and not just relax when it hits my hands.
“So I’m hoping it can be a benefit.”
Carter also talked about the depression early on after the injury and how his family and teammates helped pull him through. His mother actually rounded up his roommates — Adrian Amos, Allen Robinson and Bill Belton — to make sure they watched over him.
Everything from opening Gatorade bottles for him to hanging out with him the training room.
And now, Carter said, “We’re closer than ever.”