The last time Richard Marshall surfaced in the Dolphins’ locker room, he had recently shed crutches. And although Marshall acknowledged then that the back injury that claimed much of his season still hampered him, he remained hopeful he could return in 2012.
That was in late October. Since then, the one-time starting cornerback has undergone surgery to fix two ruptured disks, been placed on injured reserve, and allowed to do little rehab.
But that changed late last week. Marshall was given the go-ahead to start rebuilding strength in his legs after months of limited activity. Appearing at a Dolphins charity event in Plantation on Tuesday, Marshall said he’s “feeling good” after the surgery, which has a usual recovery time of up to six months.
“My goal is just try to get back as fast as possible and try to get healthy and not have any setbacks,” he said.
Marshall ruptured the disks against the Raiders in Week 2. He played through the pain for two more games, but then opted for rest in hopes his back would heal. When doctors decided it wouldn’t, he agreed to surgery. That was in early November — a daylong process that “fixed the disk problem and got everything out,” he said.
Marshall, who played in just four games in 2012, still isn’t allowed to run, and won’t rush his rehab. There’s really no point. He’s out for the season, and spring practices are five months off — which, if all goes well, would be about the time he has made a full recovery.