Taking it to Indy

Published 12:03 am Thursday, February 21, 2013

Former Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson will be at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week to meet with football teams. |                                           File photo

Former Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson (35, center) will be at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this week to meet with football teams. | File photo

Nico Johnson will be in Indianapolis this week for the NFL Combine, where instead of running through drills and workouts, he’ll be meeing with all 32 football teams.

Johnson flies to the Indiana capital on Friday. He currently is spending a couple days in Tuscaloosa.

Earlier this month, Johnson had sports hernia surgery in Philadelphia and the Andalusia native and former Alabama linebacker said the recovery is going well.

“As of now, I’m back running and back doing drills,” Johnson said. “The only thing now is just getting used to the drills and getting familiar with everything they’re doing at IMG. I’m just pretty much getting back in shape.”

IMG is a training facility in Bradenton, Fla., where Johnson said he and former teammates Barrett Jones, Eddie Lacy and Robert Lester are training and running through drills. Lacy and Jones will also not be running drills at the combine.

During NFL team meetings at the Senior Bowl late last month, Johnson was told by many team representatives to go ahead and repair the hernia.

“They thought it would be best to have the surgery and be ready for pro day,” he said. “That kind of motivated me to go ahead and get it done. It was a pain then, before, and I had been playing six to seven weeks with what I thought was a pulled groin.”

The week before Alabama’s National Championship win over Notre Dame, the linebacker informed the team’s personal trainer about the injury.

“I just told him that I’d get it checked out after the season. They eventually told me I tore a ligament in relation to my pelvis,” Johnson said. “They sent me to Philadelphia (for the surgery) after the Senior Bowl.

To get ready for the Senior Bowl, Johnson said he had to get a cortizone shot to reduce the pain from the injury.

After the surgery, Johnson said it feels a lot better and is ahead as far as recovering from the surgery.

“I’m a week ahead of protocol,” he said. “I’m just right now getting back in shape and back in running. I’m full throttle.”

When Johnson returns from the NFL Combine, he’ll be getting ready for Alabama’s Pro Day, which will be held on March 13, in Tuscaloosa.