Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin is upbeat about his recovery from a shoulder injury that ended his season last year.

Martin told the Tampa Bay Times he's nearly fully recovered from a shoulder procedure and should be full-go by next week. He had a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

It's an encouraging development for the Buccaneers to get back one of the top young running backs in the NFL.

"I feel great, my arm is about to get cleared this week," Martin said. "I'm just getting my strength back. It's been too long since I've been out of the game."

Martin is expected to be the lead back for the Buccaneers. He rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdown as as a rookie, but gained just 456 yards and scored one touchdown in six games last season.

"I think you have to have a bell cow," Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith said during the NFL owners meetings. "[Martin] is ours. At the running back position, there's enough reps to go around. We want three guys we feel comfortable with.

"Two will play, but it's not a rotation that where every series we're going to have a different guy in there. We'll have a starter, then we'll have a backup that will give him quality backup minutes."

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