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Jadeveon Clowney 'very encouraged' by rehab process

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Jadeveon Clowney continues his arduous recovery from knee surgery.

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The Houston Texans pass-rusher told reporters on Saturday that he is "very encouraged" by the rehab process and he hasn't had any setbacks.

"Man, I'm just having fun. I'm just glad to be able to walk," Clowney said, speaking publicly for the first time since surgery, per the Houston Chronicle.

Clowney couldn't put weight on his knee for more than six weeks after undergoing surgery on Dec. 8. Reporters said the linebacker appeared to walk with no indication of a limp on Saturday.

"Rehab is tough, tougher than playing," Clowney said. "You have to get there (NRG Stadium) earlier than everybody and leave later than everybody."

The Texans' brass spoke optimistically about Clowney's rehab last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.

"I think he's on the right track," coach Bill O'Brien said at the time. "Eventually, obviously you have to go out there and play and do it. But we feel good about his ability and his talent."

Clowney is expected to miss the majority of offseason work, but the team is hopeful the pass-rusher can be back on the field sometime during training camp.

The 2014 No. 1 overall pick suffered through a disappointing, injury-plagued rookie season in which he appeared in just four games and compiled seven tackles.

One of the most hyped defensive players to enter the NFL this millennium, Clowney could be part of one of the NFL's fiercest fronts alongside J.J. Watt and newly acquired Vince Wilfork.

First he must get healthy. Then he must stay healthy.

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