By Steven Wine
AP Sports Writer
DAVIE — Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey’s left arm briefly went numb when he collided in practice Monday with Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
It felt good, the former Florida Gator said.
“I miss those hits,” he said with a laugh. “I was like, ‘Golly, I miss that feeling.’ It was good to have it back.”
The feeling’s coming back for Pouncey, and not just in his left arm. He missed 12 games last year because of hip issues, and is gradually being phased into the routine in training camp.
The Dolphins want to limit Pouncey’s exposure to contact to reduce the risk of re-injury, so he joined contact drills for the first time Saturday. He’s practicing every other day and will likely play in one exhibition game, perhaps Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens.
“We’re just sticking to the plan of one day on, one day off, and it has been working so far,” Pouncey said. “Physically I feel great. I feel like we have a great plan, a great schedule that I’m going to stick to throughout this whole camp.”
Coach Adam Gase said Pouncey doesn’t need much practice to be ready for the season.
“I just want him to follow what our plan is, and I don’t want him to try to sneak in two extra reps,” Gase said. “He’s not one for just standing on the sideline and watching.”
Pouncey, 28, is a three-time Pro Bowler who hasn’t played a full season since 2012. He has had surgery on both hips, and last year he wondered aloud how long he would be able to continue to play.
But he said an offseason of rehabilitation has allowed him to believe he can stay healthy this year.
“I wouldn’t be out here taking reps if I didn’t,” he said. “You don’t want to be a guy that’s second-guessing yourself, because any time you do, you’re going to cause injury. I’m a guy that’s full out or full nothing. I’ve been going full out every day, and it hasn’t been an issue.”