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Malik Hooker Gets Back Into Cleats As Rehab Work Ramps Up

INDIANAPOLIS — Talk about a sight for sore eyes.

The last time we saw Malik Hooker in a pair of cleats, he was limping off the field after suffering a serious right knee injury Oct. 22 against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Hooker — then a top midseason candidate for the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award — would undergo surgery, officially ending his promising first season in Indianapolis.

Since that time, the talented safety has slowly but surely been working his way back through rigorous rehab work; and on Tuesday, he showed just how far along in the process he is.

Hooker tweeted out a video in which he’s wearing cleats and can be seen backpedaling, cutting and sprinting on the turf of the indoor facility at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center:

Hooker entered that Week 7 matchup against the Jaguars with 19 tackles, four passes defensed and three interceptions to his credit in the Colts’ first six games of the season, and certainly seemed to be everything the team hoped he would be as its first-round (15th-overall) pick in last year’s NFL Draft.

But after being delivered a low block as he chased wide receiver Allen Hurns down the sideline during that contest, Hooker, and the Colts, knew the damage — to both his right ACL and his MCL — had been done, and he would undergo season-ending surgery.

Hooker and the Colts have taken a day-by-day approach to his recovery and his rehab work, and have not set a public timetable for his return. But with a new defensive scheme to master on top of his rehab, Hooker has kept himself plenty busy this offseason.

“Right now, it’s just crucial for me to get in there and just try to work as hard as I can to get healthy for the team,” Hooker told reporters on April 17. “So, I just pretty much just do whatever’s asked of me and try to do a little extra so that if I can, try to move the process up.”

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