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Delmas eager, Lions preach patience for safety's sake

The SportsXchange

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Louis Delmas was his usual goofy, playful self with his teammates during the first day of the Detroit Lions' mandatory minicamp Tuesday. He was also his usual get-out-of-my-face self with the media.

"I don't know what to tell you; I've been hurt," he said, as reporters walked along with him as he left the field.

Delmas is still unable to participate because of lingering tendinitis in his surgically repaired left knee. When asked how he felt, he said, "Great. It feels just like how it was last year."

That can't be encouraging. Delmas did not participate in voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) or minicamp last year. He was on the field for the first couple of days of training camp but then was shut down and eventually had surgery.

When pressed Tuesday, Delmas shut the interview down.

"Can you leave me alone? Seriously," he said.

Coach Jim Schwartz said Delmas will not participate in this three-day minicamp and it is still unknown whether he will be ready for the start of training camp at the end of July.

"Patience is a very difficult thing when you are a player," Schwartz said. "But for a player like Delmas, patience is the thing he has to have right now. He has to be patient enough to work through it and give it time to heal, then take it as it comes and not get ahead of schedule.

"Lou is working hard. He'll be back on the field sometime, but it won't be at this minicamp."

Delmas has had surgery on both knees, the right one in 2011 and the left before last season. Neither Delmas nor the team will confirm there has been any additional surgical procedure since. He was able to play eight games last season, but except for most of the game at Philadelphia in Week 5, he wasn't completely healthy.

The Lions signed Delmas to a two-year, incentive-laced $7.5 million deal this offseason. His base salary for this year is the minimum $715,000, but he will earn another $1.75 million if he is on the 53-man roster.

Schwartz was asked if the team can still count on Delmas as a starter for 2013.

"There is a long way to go before we worry about stuff like that," he said. "Now is not the time. Everybody wants to put starting jobs up for grabs and depth charts, but we're really not at that point right now.

"Let's get to training camp and see how it goes."

Glover Quin and Don Carey have been working with the first-team defense through the offseason.

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