Kindle says playing status is "up in the air"

Following up on an earlier post, we had a chance to talk to linebacker Sergio Kindle today after the Ravens' top 2010 draft pick tweeted that he's been told he might not be able to play next season.

Kindle is on the non-football injury list because of a fractured skull he suffered in late July, which means that he won't play all of this season. The former Texas star has believed all along, however, that he'll be healthy and ready to go by the time the 2011 season rolls around.

Yesterday, Kindle was told by doctors at Sinai Hospital that might not be possible.

"I always thought I would be able to play," Kindle said. "I thought I would be able to play this year. Next year, I thought it would be a no-brainer, but from what the doctors told me, it will be different. It's up in the air from what they tell me."

Kindle says he feels like he's made progress health-wise over the last few months, but you can tell that this latest news from the doctors has hit the 23-year-old hard.

When we spoke with Kindle on a conference call immediately after the Ravens selected him in April's draft, he showed off his vibrant personality, yelling joyously and predicting that he'd win the NFL Rookie of the Year award.

Today, we saw a completely different Kindle. He spoke in a hushed voice with his head hanging, clearly disappointed that he might not get to live his dream of playing in the NFL

"Time is always good, but I'm just going by what he told me, it's kind of up in the air," Kindle said. "Everything has gotten better and that's why what he was telling me is so disappointing because as well as I'm doing, they don't have a definite answer for it."

Kindle said he doesn't have any headaches or side effects from his fall down two flights of stairs. The issue, obviously, is that coming back from a fractured skull, doctors aren't sure if he'll be able to handle the physical nature of NFL action and the constant blows to the head.

"Basically, they just saying they don't know," Kindle said. "They haven't dealt with an injury like mine before. They can't really give me a yes or a no with confidence. It's kind of in the middle. It's a hit or a miss. The whole point of it is if they don't know if I'll be able to take a hit just because I'm not doing anything involving contact right now."

Asked about Kindle's status and his latest round of news from the doctors, head coach John Harbaugh said he didn't have any new information to pass along.

"I don't have anything new on Sergio," Harbaugh said. "We haven't met with doctors since the last time we talked about that. I really don't have anything new on that. The way I understand, it's still a matter of how fast he comes along with his recovery."

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