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Bill O’Brien: J.J. Watt ‘doing very well’ in recovery from back surgery

Houston Texans head coach Bill O’Brien provided an encouraging update concerning the status of J.J. Watt’s surgically repaired back.

“J.J.’s doing well,” O’Brien said Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine, via ESPN. “I’m not a doctor. I’m not going to stand up here and give you exactly everything that’s going on with him medically, because to be honest with you, I don’t really know. I just know that in my conversations with him … I can tell you that he is doing very well. He’s in great shape. He can’t wait to be back.”

O’Brien added Watt will “probably participate, to a certain extent, in OTAs,” although the coach pointed out OTAs are “more of a passing camp, a teaching camp.”

“So, the true test for him will be training camp, and I know that he’s really looking forward to training camp and coming back and playing as good as ever in 2017,” O’Brien added, per the Texans official site.

Watt’s 2016 season ended after only three games when he re-aggravated a back injury from the previous spring. A discectomy on the same herniated disc he injured earlier in the year was performed by spinal expert Dr. Robert Watkins in late September. The procedure, his third in a year, was deemed successful.

A report in January said Watt was “ahead of schedule” in his rehab. And then in February, Watt reported he was “fully cleared for football activities” and expected to be ready for the Texans’ offseason program.

Given that Watt admitted the word “retirement” has crept into his head through his surgery ordeals — although he quickly dispelled any notion he would do so — the developments of the past few months are nothing short of great news, for Watt as well as the Texans.