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Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey underwent a stem cell procedure on his injured hip, according to a report by ESPN.
The procedure is a standard step in rehabbing an injury such as Pouncey’s and there have been no reported setbacks. Pouncey’s hip has been a recurring problem over the past seasons, but Miami hopes to have him ready for the start of the 2017 season.
The 27-year old was only able to take part in five games last season and his absence was evident. Even though the Dolphins reached the playoffs, the loss of Pouncey played a role in a number of defeats for the team. The center is not only one of Miami’s more talented players, but he is a consummate professional and one of the team leaders.
Pouncey was photographed on Monday, when he attended the funeral of former New England Patriots’ tight-end Aaron Hernandez. Pouncey was seen with crutches in the photo, as he continues to rehab the difficult injury.
Miami head coach Adam Gase recently mentioned that Pouncey is expected back for the first week of the season. Those plans could change however, depending on Pouncey’s progress during the remainder of the off-season. The Dolphins need Pouncey for the long haul and will want to avoid any potential setbacks.
The Dolphins announced their 2017 schedule last week and it features a relatively late bye. Miami will not have a week off until the 11th week of the season, which is the latest bye in franchise history. While this will give players much-needed rest later in the year, it could lead to some bodies wearing down in the first half of the year. Pouncey is one player who may have preferred an earlier bye.