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Al Harris: ‘I’ll be back in 6 months’

Packers cornerback promises he’ll return next season. Jack Bechta

Print This November 23, 2009, 11:15 AM EST

On Sunday night I was having dinner in Tampa with my client, Stylez G. White, when my phone lit up with the message, “Packers.” I knew it wasn’t good and that it had something to do with my client Al Harris.

A team executive gave me the news: “It looks like Al may have torn his ACL,” he said. A sinking feeling came over me, and I lost my appetite. I couldn’t believe it -- Al isn’t supposed to get hurt. He’s only missed four games in his 13-year NFL career.

I texted Al, who called me right back and with a steady voice told me what had happened. We discussed some reconstructive medical options and decided to use this week to do our due diligence and make a plan of attack. Then Al said, “I’m going to be back in six months, Jack.”

My response was that that was an aggressive estimate. “Well, that’s my plan,” he said, “and I’m going to play three to four more years. This injury wasn’t in my plan. Playing a few more years is.”

We frequently talk about cutting-edge workouts and supplements, 20-year vet and Pro Bowler Darrell Green, nutrition, offseason workouts and recovery. Al is obsessed with career longevity and the mind’s power to heal the body.

When he lacerated his spleen last season, he healed faster than expected and did it with a plan. So here’s a guy who has a season-ending injury and within two hours is already focusing on his medical and rehab plans. That’s Al Harris.

Early in Al’s career, I used to talk to him about getting career-ending injury insurance. He would snap at me, telling me he would never need it. He also insisted that we never talk about injuries or getting hurt ever again. He explained that he uses positive visualization along with hard work to stay strong and healthy. He never thinks about things that have negative scenarios.

In the last two years in Green Bay, usually right before camp, Al asked his general manager to never judge him on his age, only on his play. So anyone who wants to focus on his age had better take a look at the tape. I promise you’ll see Al Harris at his signature right cornerback spot on opening week next season.

Follow me on Twitter: jackbechta

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