McKINNEY, Texas -- After a rookie season that never was with the Baltimore Ravens because of a hairline skull fracture suffered before training camp, Sergio Kindle is hoping his NFL career will begin for real in 2011.
Kindle -- a Dallas native and former Texas linebacker -- recently began working out four days a week at Michael Johnson Performance.
"It's going well," Kindle said, "I'm just preparing for whenever this lockout issue is settled so when we do go back I'll be prepared and ready to go."
A year ago, Kindle called this facility in suburban Dallas home leading up to the NFL Scouting Combine and he ended up being selected in the second round by the Ravens. Three days before camp started he fell down two flights of stairs at a friend's house, fracturing his skull. He was not under contract and was signed to a one-year, $320,000 deal before spending the year on injured reserve.
Kindle, who finished his Longhorns career with 176 tackles -- 43 for loss -- and 16 sacks, said he and the team are seeking second and third opinions on his injury before he can be cleared for contact drills. He is able to do all of the workouts.
"I'm not [scared]," Kindle said. "I'm hoping for the best but at the same time it is a head injury and the doctors are looking out for my best interest. If they see anything that is a question, they're going to let me know about it, which will be better off in the end. You don't want to go in not being full speed and get hurt and be done forever."
Kindle was arrested in December on a DUI charge and has a March court date. He called it a "poor decision on my part," but Lance Walker, the director of performance at the facility, said Kindle is more mature than he was a year ago.
Kindle said based on talks he has had with the Ravens, including head coach John Harbaugh, that he will get the chance to earn a roster spot in 2011 if he is cleared physically.
"It's a learning experience, going through some of the things I've been through," Kindle said. "And it sounds crazy but in a sense it seems like I might have needed that to wake up and see that there's a million people that want to be in the position I am in. I can't take it for granted. I've got to put everything I can into it to get everything out of it."
Todd Archer covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com.