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J.J. Watt ‘very excited about the future’ despite injury-plagued seasons

J.J. Watt has played in eight total games the past two seasons due to season-ending back and leg injuries. Despite the setbacks, the Houston Texans superstar defensive end remains “very excited about the future” and focused on being fully healthy to begin the 2018 NFL season.

Watt is still in rehab mode after suffering a tibial plateau fracture in his left leg in a Week 5 game last season, an injury that once again cut short his campaign. After undergoing back surgery for a herniated disc ahead of the 2016 season, Watt was ready to go in Week 1, only to suffer a season-ending back injury in late September.

Watt, 29, admits to being extremely frustrated over the injury setbacks and the emotional toll never-ending rehabilitation has had on him. That said, the three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, four-time First-Team All-Pro, four-time pro bowler and two-time sacks leader is understandably eager to put it all behind him.

“The biggest thing I learned is it’s just one step at a time,” Watt said, via ESPN. “One day at a time. Every little step that I can take forward in the right direction, can minimize the steps backward, the better off I’m going to be. [I’ve learned I can’t get] so frustrated that it’s not going faster or I can’t do what I want to do yet. … I need to be ready for the first games. I don’t need to be pissed off that today I may not be able to do what I’m going to be able to do in September.”

“I look at it one of two ways: You can either sulk — you can whine, you can complain — or you can move forward and you can have optimism, and you can move forward with excitement. And, that’s what I’m doing. I’m very excited about the future. Obviously, I have been injured the last two years. [I’m] disappointed by it, but not going to let it define who I am or what I’m about. Very, very excited coming out and looking forward to getting back to being even better than I was before.”