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Hasselbeck set to make it back for minicamp

KIRKLAND, Wash. (April 25, 2007) -- Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will participate in the Seahawks' first minicamp early next month, eliminating initial fears that he might not return from surgery on his non-throwing shoulder until summer.

Seahawks president and general manager Tim Ruskell said that the 2006 Super Bowl and Pro Bowl quarterback's recovery is far ahead of schedule. Immediately after Hasselbeck's operation to reattach the labrum in his left shoulder on Jan. 18, the Seahawks said he would be ready for training camp in July, if not sooner.

Last month, Ruskell estimated Hasselbeck would be throwing again by June. Now, he expects his quarterback to be on the field a month before that.

"As far as full participation we have not made that decision yet," Ruskell said when asked how much Hasselbeck will do in Seattle's first minicamp that follows this weekend's NFL draft.

"But I will say, very encouraged. Matt's very encouraged and we're very encouraged at the progress that he's making. Very excited about him coming back quicker than maybe we even said off the bat."

In February, Hasselbeck was in Miami for Super Bowl week doing promotional appearances while wearing a brace on his left arm. That was three weeks after the surgery by renowned specialist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Hasselbeck first injured the shoulder during a Jan. 4, 2004, playoff loss at Green Bay.

Pain returned last season -- and not just in his shoulder. He also broke two fingers, sprained a knee and missed four games, and had his worst season since his first as Seahawks starter in 2001. He completed 56.6 percent of his passes, his lowest rate in five seasons, and threw 15 interceptions in the regular season.

Seattle fell one win short of a second consecutive appearance in the NFC championship game.

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