Sanchez says he'll 'be 100 percent'

Updated: April 2, 2010, 12:11 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Mark Sanchez limped out of a wildly successful NFL debut but says that knee surgery won't compromise his encore.

"I'll absolutely be 100 percent by training camp and be ready to go for the season," the New York Jets quarterback said, according to the New York Post.

Sanchez had surgery on Feb. 17 to repair a patella tendon he injured while he was at USC. He has been limited to walking, and is not running at this point.

"We're just working on strengthening, getting the range of motion back and it's feeling really good," Sanchez said Thursday. "I'm walking around without a hiccup or anything. So they are really excited about the progress."

Sanchez said he had "no clue yet" when he would be able to get to football activities, but insists he'll be ready by training camp in late July.

"Oh, absolutely," he said. "Without a doubt."

Sanchez had surgery on Feb. 17, an elective procedure to help prevent future problems with his knee. He dislocated the kneecap during fall practice before his junior season at Southern California, then aggravated the injury against Carolina on Nov. 29.

"As cliche as it sounds, one day at a time and it's really like that," Sanchez said. "They've used the term 'cautiously aggressive.' They want to make sure that I'm getting sore and the right kind of sore -- the right kind of sore without hurting. The kind of sore that you bounce back from, and that's the way it's been the entire time."

Sanchez led the Jets as a rookie to a pedestrian 9-7 regular-season record, then helped New York go on a tear in the playoffs. The Jets beat the Bengals and Chargers before losing to the Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

During the regular season, Sanchez completed almost 54 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. But in the playoffs, he stepped up with a 60 percent completion mark and four TDs with two picks.

He was bedridden for a few days after the procedure and couldn't drive for two weeks. So, the Jets helped him by bringing equipment for his rehabilitation to his home in New Jersey.

"The rehab process was a lot more difficult when no one was here and I was barely moving my leg and trying to get the swelling down," he said. "But now that I'm moving around and a lot of people are around, it's easy now. It's fun. I feel like I'm back in my groove, I'm back in the swing of things. Those first couple of weeks were long and the weather wasn't great, so it wasn't very fun."

Sanchez has spent much of his time at the team's facility going over game film for hours at a time with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.

"This surgery taught me a lot about what I can accomplish in the offseason," Sanchez said. "And if I never would've had the surgery, who knows? I might've been home. But now that I've been here, I feel like this is where I should be as soon as the offseason starts to get a couple weeks here to sit down with the coaches, talk to them about all the plays that we watched at least two, three times from the entire season."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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