As the Washington Redskins kicked off OTAs on Monday, starting right defensive end Stephen Bowen worked on the side with trainers as he continued his rehabilitation from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

But Bowen expects to be healed within a month and aims to build on a career year that saw him record 41 tackles and six sacks in his first season with the Redskins.

“It was just a clean-out on my knee,” said Bowen, who had the surgery in mid-April. “I had some loose cartilage. I’ve been rehabbing the last month, just taking my time with it, making sure I’m 100 percent.”

Bowen suffered a third-degree PCL tear in the same knee in Week 12 of the 2011 season but didn’t need surgery and didn’t miss any playing time. He suspects that the cartilage damage may have had something to do with that injury.

Bowen said he decided to have his knee scoped after experiencing some pain in his knee.

“It was a little annoying pain, and I didn’t want to deal with it in the season, so tried to get it taken care of so I’m 100 percent,” Bowen said. “I’ll probably be 100 percent the next two or three weeks.”

Although confident that he made the right decision in having the procedure done, Bowen said it’s hard watching his teammates, even in offseason practices.

“You’re out there and you see the D-line, and we’re a close-knit unit and I’m not out there battling with them, so it’s hard just to watch from the sideline,” said Bowen, who led all Redskins defensive linemen in sacks and ranked third overall on the team. “But I’ll be back out there soon enough battling with the guys and trying to cause some problems for peoples’ offenses. … [I’m] more comfortable in the scheme, know how other players play, and how to play off them. So I’m excited to be in it for another year.”


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