Andre Carter Hoping To Return By Training Camp

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 01: Andre Carter #93 of the New England Patriots celebrates after he recovered the fumble in the first half against the New York Giants on September 1, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

There have been a lot of twists and turns in Andre Carter's football life these past few months.

Back in December, Carter's season was forced to come to an end after he suffered a severe quad injury in Week 14 when his New England Patriots took on the Miami Dolphins. There was a lot of doubt as to whether or not the 33-year old veteran defensive lineman would be able to return to the game.

It's now mid-June, and while he still sits unsigned in Free Agency, he's closer than ever to returning to the football field. Recently, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora sat down with Carter to try and find out when he thinks he'll be able to play. Carter says that he believes that he'll be ready for the start of team training camps.

"Overall, I feel great," Carter said between rehab sessions near his home in California. "As you know, this quad injury is something that is not too common; you always hear about ACLs or MCLs, but to have it pop off the bone like that, I was like, 'Damn, I must have been doing some big thangs out there,'" at which point Carter let out one of his Barry White-worthy deep chuckles.

"But I had a follow-up last week and the doctors are pretty impressed with how I've come along, and as you know when it comes to rehab there's a certain timetable where you're supposed to be, and I've surpassed that. I'm ahead of the game and headed in the right direction. Even though I know this injury takes a long time, my goal has been to be back for training camp. That's my focus."

Last season in New England, Carter was able to record his first 10-sack season in two years and was a tremendous veteran leader for the team's defense. During his rehab, Carter has checked in with team trainers and doctors often to try and work his way back into playing shape. Even though he is a free agent, Carter has made it clear that he would love to return to the Patriots next season.

"It would be great, it would be great," Carter said of a potential New England reunion. "But as you know it's a business as well. I'm just training my mind and body to prepare for another season, and hopefully a team will be interested in me and take a chance and I can go out and perform the best way I can. If it's New England, that would be awesome."

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