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QB Warner says he's ahead of schedule in recovery from hip surgery

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Kurt Warner says he's ahead of schedule in his recovery from surgery to repair a hip injury that bothered him much of last season.

Not that anyone would have noticed at that time.

Despite the injury, Warner had one of the best seasons of his career and only got better in the playoffs, where he directed the Arizona Cardinals to victories over Atlanta, Carolina and Philadelphia before going down in a spirited 27-23 loss to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl.

2008 Statistics
Comp/Att: 401/598

Yards: 4,583

TD/INT: 30/14

Warner took part in Arizona's minicamp over the weekend, but on a limited basis.

"I didn't do everything," he said after the Cardinals wrapped up the three-day camp on Sunday. "I probably could have done most things. We didn't really push it as far as running and rolling out and doing that kind of stuff, because I really haven't run at all. We were limited there just to be cautious."

The 37-year-old quarterback underwent arthroscopic surgery on March 17 to repair a torn labrum and remove some loose fragments in his left hip. The operation, which took place at the Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colo., came two weeks after Warner signed a two-year, $23 million contract that included a $15 million signing bonus.

He said his recovery is ahead of schedule.

"I don't think anybody expected me to do as much as I did this weekend besides myself," he said, "so I guess from that standpoint I think we're all happy where we're at this stage in the offseason."

Coach Ken Whisenhunt joked that Warner "moved around like we should run the ball about 40 times per game."

But, seriously, Whisenhunt said Warner "did well, but it was only seven-on-seven and some individual (work)."

Warner said he isn't sure exactly when he hurt his hip, but it was around midseason.

"It bothered me a lot, but the thing about it was when I was playing and when I was active, it actually hurt less than when I was standing around or walking and moving less," he said. "The pain was there and the pain was constant, but the good thing was when I was playing or practicing it was lessened to a degree."

It obviously didn't affect his performance. Warner started all 20 games. In the regular season, he completed 67 percent of his passes for 4,583 yards and 30 touchdowns, with 13 interceptions. In four playoff games, Warner completed 68 percent for 1,147 yards and 11 touchdowns, with three interceptions.

Warner said he's confident he will be completely recovered when training camp opens in July.

Minicamp schedules

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Meanwhile, Whisenhunt and Warner sensed a carry-over of confidence in the team's minicamp, the first time the Cardinals had practiced since the Super Bowl.

"I feel chemistry with our team. I see that," Whisenhunt said. "I see a lot of interaction on both sides of the ball, even within their groups, which is something you've worked very hard to try to get. It's something that really took off when we got to the playoffs. And I think the team is confident, but you have to walk a fine line with that from being too confident."

Warner said the Cardinals, at last, know what it takes to succeed.

"We're going to be able to do a lot of things on the football field, we know that," Warner said, "but now we know how to prepare, now we know how to go into games and win tough games and win on the road and do all the things that we hadn't done in the past."

Rookie running back Beanie Wells, Arizona's first-round draft pick, packed his suitcase and left for Ohio because NFL rules don't allow him to participate in voluntary workouts until his quarter of studies at Ohio State is over on June 13. That means he will miss all 14 days of voluntary workouts in May and early June.

"There will be a lot of ground to make up," Whisenhunt said. "We install a lot of the packages, whether it's our two tights (ends), which is our short-yardage package, or our four-wide packages, which he will be involved with protection, or even our red-zone stuff we do and the two-minute (drill). So it will be a lot of catching up for him to do in camp."

Wide receiver Anquan Boldin and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, both upset with their contract status, sat out the weekend practices with what they said were hamstring injuries. Whisenhunt compared their so-called ailments to "seasonal allergies" that come along this time of year.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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