Defensive end Jason Hatcher talks with defensive coordinator Jim Haslett during offseason workouts.

RICHMOND – Defensive end Jason Hatcher said he remains unsure when the team will activate him from the physically unable to perform list and clear him for practice. Hatcher called patience the key to a full and effective recovery.

Hatcher, Washington’s highest-profile defensive free agent acquisition this offseason, had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on June 20. He was told to expect a four- to six-week recovery time, and this week marked the fifth week.

The team’s medical staff didn’t clear Hatcher for practice this week, however, so his wait will continue for a while longer. Hatcher said that he is able to run without limitation. For now, his training regimen features a lot of exercises designed to strengthen his quadriceps and help him regain his explosiveness.

“I feel great, man. I feel like I’m ahead of schedule, but at the same time, we’ve just got to take it easy and trust the trainers that they’ll put me back at the right time,” said Hatcher, who this spring signed a four-year, $27.5 million contract to play for Washington.

“It wasn’t a big surgery. It wasn’t like I tore nothing,” he continued. “It was just a clean-up for the season. I’ll be back to myself pretty soon. They’ve got their game plan for me to be back on the field. As impatient as I am to get back out there with my guys, I know they’ll get me ready. I feel great right now – like I can go right now, but I know I have to trust them.”