(Ricky Carioti/WASHINGTON POST)

“The knee’s fine,” said the 5-foot-7, 150-pound Banks, who last season averaged 11.3 yards a punt return (third in the league) and 25.1 yards per kick return. “It’s just sore.”

Banks, who injured the knee on Oct. 31 and had the surgery two days later, made a speedy return to action. He recovered over the bye week and then playing on Nov. 15 against Philadelphia.

Because of this offseason’s lockout, Banks had to rehabilitate on his own, rather than under the supervision of the Redskins’ medical staff. The Redskins are hoping that with additional care, Banks can soon return to the mix.

“You’re keeping your fingers crossed,” Coach Mike Shanahan said. “You’re always concerned any time someone has surgery or anytime someone in the offseason isn’t able to go. But we’ve got some great doctors and great trainers and hopefully we’ll get him back to normal.

Banks, who made only two catches as an undrafted rookie out of Kansas State, has competition at kick and punt returner with Washington having added rookies Niles Paul and Aldrick Robinson, and with second-year wideouts Anthony Armstrong and Terrence Austin receiving looks in practice. Banks, meanwhile, has had limited opportunities

“It’s always frustrating when you can’t go out and help the team and try to go out there and show the coaches what I want to do,” Banks said. “It bothers me a lot, but it is what it is.”