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Boldin Healing Up


 Wide receiver Anquan Boldin, here celebrating the win of the overtime coin toss against Atlanta, has already made strides in his injury rehabilitation.

Anquan Boldin spent a chunk of Wednesday morning working out at the Cardinals' facility, working up a sweat on a stairmaster while chatting with strength and conditioning coach John Lott.

The Cards' wide receiver isn't completely healthy, not after a season in which he played with both a fractured hip and, later, a dislocated toe. But a little more than two weeks after the Cardinals' season finale, Boldin feels better than expected.

"It feels different already," Boldin said. "It's amazing what rest can do for the body.

"I don't have to have any surgeries, which is a good thing. I am just working out, trying to stay in shape and trying to heal up."

Boldin is one of a handful of Cardinals who will deal with rehabilitation issues in the offseason. But coach Ken Whisenhunt said, barring setbacks, the Cards should be at full strength once training camp begins in late July.

Most players will be available for the offseason on-field work of organized team activities and minicamp. Tight end Leonard Pope, who dislocated his ankle, probably will be out for the summer. But Whisenhunt said Pope had the same exact injury as wide receiver Ahmad Merritt, who got hurt in the third preseason game, and Merritt is almost ready to get back on the field again.

Given that timetable, Whisenhunt said Pope is expected to be ready around June, well before training camp.

The same goes for safety Adrian Wilson, who continues to rehab after heel surgery. Wilson would probably not be able to work in OTAs, but should be ready for training camp.

"The thing is we didn't have any major knee surgeries, major shoulder surgeries at the end of the season, things where you know the guy might not be back until the start of the season or into the season," Whisenhunt said. "We should be OK from that standpoint."

That's definitely how Boldin sees himself. His toe problem was never a big deal to him, knowing once he got some rest he would be OK. The hip will take longer to heal, but he has been running daily to keep his conditioning and stretching the area out and he already has seen dramatic improvement.

Boldin, who expects to be ready for all the offseason on-field work, also said there are no concerns about long-term damage in the hip.

"I'm not worried about it at all," Boldin said.

Contact Darren Urban at Posted 1/17/08.

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