Palmer: Elbow is 100 percent

CINCINNATI -- Bengals starting quarterback Carson Palmer says his elbow is "100 percent" and ready to go for the 2009 season.

Cincinnati started offseason workouts on Monday, which was the first opportunity for Palmer to work with the team since his injury last fall that caused him to miss 12 games but didn't require surgery. The Bengals will keep Palmer on a "pitch count" all the way through training camp only as a precautionary measure.

"I'm 100 percent," Palmer said. "I've been cleared. My elbow feels great and I just have to keep going and get the small mechanical things that I normally do this time of year."

Palmer is coming off a season-ending injury for the second time in four seasons. But Palmer says his body feels rejuvenated with the additional rest, and that he is ready to try to lead the Bengals to a successful season.

Palmer has been throwing three times a week near his home in Southern California. Several of the Bengals' young receivers have joined him for the sessions, including Jerome Simpson, a second-round draft pick last year.

"I saw that old Carson Palmer I used to look at when I was younger," Simpson said. "He has that strong arm, and he's just throwing the ball around and having fun. There was some zip on it. He overthrew me one time, and I hadn't seen that for a long time. I was surprised, but it showed me he's getting back to the old Carson now."

Palmer's younger brother, Jordan, is a backup Bengals quarterback and worked out with him at the sessions in California. Jordan Palmer was reminded of how his brother overcame injuries in the past, including a severe knee injury in the 2005 playoffs that required reconstructive surgery. Palmer left knee was hurt on his first pass in a playoff loss to Pittsburgh, but he didn't miss any games in 2006.

"It's in his nature," Jordan Palmer said. "And that's why he's the man. He's ready to roll, and I think he'll be back and stronger than ever. I think he's really excited about this year. It was important for him to come into it healthy, and that's where he is now."

Palmer, 29, threw for just 731 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions in four games in 2008. The Bengals finished 4-11-1 as a team last season.

James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.