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Zach Mettenberger to begin throwing by next week, trainer says

Gerald Herbert / Associated Press
LSU QB Zach Mettenberger plans to attend the NFL Scouting Combine but might not participate in drills.

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger's rehabilitation from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his knee has gone so well that he is expected to begin throwing passes next week as he prepares for the NFL draft, according to LSU trainer Jack Marucci.

It was revealed Monday that Mettenberger, a pocket passer who lacks mobility when healthy, was already simulating drop backs. In an extensive feature on Mettenberger's initial progress published at nola.com, Marucci was plenty optimistic.

"I'd say he's ahead or definitely right on schedule," Marucci said. "In three months you probably wouldn't even notice he's had surgery. We anticipate him probably within the next week to start throwing. I've never seen him so focused. He's been very patient."

Hear it straight from Mettenberger:

"I'm able to do a lot of agility drills, but nothing full speed, running or cutting. I'm doing lateral step-ups at a pretty quick rate," he said. "(Monday) I started doing slow movement drops. Strength-wise my quad is getting back to where it was and my knee is feeling really good right now."

Mettenberger underwent surgery Jan. 2. He plans to attend the NFL Scouting Combine but might not participate in anything other than interviews with club representatives and undergo medical evaluations. Before the draft, however, he expects to be ready to work out in front of NFL scouts.

For now, he's throwing from a stool.

In a couple of weeks, Mettenberger will head to Test Football Academy in Martinsville, N.J., to train with former NFL coach Chris Palmer.

The health of Mettenberger's knee, however, figures to be somewhat less of a concern to NFL clubs than it would be if he were a running threat. He is a pocket passer in every sense of the word, and while a healthy lower half is required for any quarterback to throw accurately, it's not as though Mettenberger's speed or athleticism were going to be a primary factor in his draft status.

A quick recovery from the injury certainly doesn't hurt, however.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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