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Matthews expects helping hand this week

Nov. 14, 2013
 
Clay Matthews will use a smaller cast this week that should allow him to be more of a two-handed player. Dan Powers/Gannett Wisconsin Media
Clay Matthews will use a smaller cast this week that should allow him to be more of a two-handed player. Dan Powers/Gannett Wisconsin Media

Clay Matthews will use a smaller cast this week that should allow him to be more of a two-handed player after his rough outing at outside linebacker last week trying to play with his injured hand wrapped in a huge club.

Matthews’ new cast, which is to protect his broken right thumb, will allow him to use his fingers. Last week, his entire hand was covered by a full cast and huge padding, and he ended up being a relatively ineffective one-handed player against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“You think you can play with a club,” Matthews said, “and then my first time playing with a club, but there’s something about it, which, it’s kind of like a cat – cut its whiskers off, it just loses its balance. I’ve never done that before, but I’ve heard that’s what happens. That’s how I felt. So you have to overcome that. I’m hoping with my fingers back, I’ll be like a feline who got his whiskers back and then I’ll be able to be more spry out there.”

Matthews is 5 ½ weeks removed from surgery on his thumb. Normally, the surgical pins that hold it in place are removed after six weeks, but to hasten his return the Packers’ medical staff removed them after four weeks.

He said he’s able to use his hand for normal daily activities, though for most of the day he still wears a protective brace on his thumb. As the thumb heals – broken bones usually take about six weeks to mend – he can use smaller casts when he plays football, though he’ll probably have to wear some type of cast through the end of the season.

“I’m sure after this Giants game and Vikings game that it will be even smaller and to the point where hopefully I don’t think about it,” he said.

Matthews had two tackles and no sacks or quarterback hits last week against the Eagles. It was obvious that much of the time he was essentially a one-handed player, and he had great difficulty disengaging blocks and rushing the passer with his right hand wrapped in a club.

“it was difficult, obviously, rushing the passer or setting the edge with one hand,” Matthews said. “It was difficult. Obviously you’re a little frustrated, especially with the loss and wishing to contribute in a more major manner, but there’s also a little victory in getting back on the field and using it a little bit, which is just a small, individual victory. I’m just hoping that I’ll continue to improve each week until I hopefully I get back to what everyone is used to seeing. “

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