One of the scariest stories of Raider training camp 2009 is fortunately fizzling into a forgettable footnote. Barely two weeks after undergoing an emergency appendectomy, Raiders left guard Robert Gallery is back on the field, in full pads, and participating full-contact with the first team.
There's only one lingering medical problem for Gallery.
"I'm fat," he told the Sacramento Bee.
While he admits he's a little out of game shape, this is an earlier return date than had been expected for the now appendix-less Gallery. He was back in practice Monday, but was not expected back until this Saturday.
So the Raiders still won't have him for Thursday's preseason home opener against the Dallas Cowboys, and will likely start Chris Morris in his place. The starters only figure to play only the first quarter of that game, anyway. But the encouraging sign is that Gallery's recovery is coming along ahead of schedule.
"We're obviously way ahead and he feels great and felt great today. I just talked to him right after, no problems." Coach Cable told the Bee. "Just kind of ease him back into it today and tomorrow and then we'll get through Thursday night and get going with him on Saturday."
By Saturday, Cable means the annual preseason tilt against the 49ers on August 22. If Gallery can play that night, he'll be having a comeback season in more ways than one.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who would rather use his fat jokes on Coach Cable than an active Raiders player.