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Marcus Lattimore: I'll be ready for 2013 NFL season

Marcus Lattimore simply wants to play.

The South Carolina running back will have to wait for that moment while he continues to heal from the devastating knee injury he suffered in late October.

Lattimore, once viewed as a likely first-round draft pick, won't practice or compete at this week's Senior Bowl, but he made the trip to Mobile, Ala., to meet with teams, shake hands and hopefully convince one NFL club to take a chance.

His rehab timeline is an aggressive one. Lattimore said Wednesday that he plans to be ready for the start of the 2013 NFL season.

"I believe in myself," Lattimore told "NFL AM." "Dr. (James) Andrews actually said, 'You're going to shock the world,' so I quoted him. And I really do believe I'll be ready. I'm going at a rate that I knew I could, and I feel great. When I start jogging and I get a little bit stronger, I know it's game on then."

Lattimore's grisly injury came against Tennessee on Oct. 27. He dislocated his right knee and tore multiple ligaments after missing half of the 2011 season with an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee. His rehabilitation in Florida has progressed to the point of jogging underwater. Running on land is the next step.

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Lattimore told NFL Network he's gathered advice from NFL running backs Willis McGahee and Frank Gore, who also returned from major knee injuries. The stunning comeback of Adrian Peterson didn't hurt, either.

"Ah, man. (Peterson) is unreal," Lattimore said. "What he did this year will probably never be done again. He got 2,000 yards coming off an ACL/MCL injury. I mean, that's unbelievable. That's definitely motivation for me knowing that he did it. That is what I'm trying to do."

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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