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Packers' Kampman ahead of schedule in knee rehab, looks to future

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Packers linebacker Aaron Kampman says the rehabilitation work on his injured left knee is ahead of schedule and he expects to be ready for the beginning of training camp.

Now he just needs to figure out where he'll play next season.

Kampman, a two-time Pro Bowl selection for the Packers, has played all eight of his NFL seasons in Green Bay. But he's scheduled to become a free agent, and his future with the team remains unclear.

"Obviously, this is the only place I've been, and it'd be great to continue my career here," Kampman said Monday in the wake of Green Bay's 51-45 overtime playoff loss at Arizona. "But we'll see what happens."

While Green Bay might be a familiar environment for Kampman, his 2009 season was awkward at times.

New defensive coordinator Dom Capers scrapped the Packers' 4-3 defensive scheme and installed his version of the 3-4. He asked Kampman to switch from defensive end to outside linebacker, requiring him to learn the nuances of standing up at the line of scrimmage instead of playing as a down lineman, and sometimes dropping into pass coverage.

Kampman initially seemed less than enthusiastic about his role in the new scheme, but he earned consistent praise from coaches for the work he put in to the transition.

"Obviously I've gotten used to this 3-4," Kampman said. "I didn't get a chance to get a full year to critique and say, 'Hey, this is great.' But I was starting to get more comfortable with it. Having said that, I have a lot of experience in the 4-3. I think that I can do both."

Kampman didn't rule out his potential interest in signing with a team that runs a 4-3 defensive scheme.

"I think that'll all play itself out," Kampman said. "There's a couple months to see exactly what's going to happen."

Kampman's season-ending knee injury happened during the Nov. 22 game against the San Francisco 49ers, and he had surgery Dec. 4. He said he is "very encouraged" by his progress in rehabilitation and expects to be ready to hit the field in training camp.

"Things have gone very, very well," Kampman said. "I'm very thankful."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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