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Lions center Frank Ragnow downplays toe injury: ‘I’m feeling really good’

Frank Ragnow says he’s feeling much better and more confident about the toe injuries he’s had to deal with for the past two seasons.

This offseason during a charity event, Detroit Lions center Frank Ragnow noted that his toe injury had gotten to a point where surgery wouldn’t help and it was something he would just have to deal with the rest of his career.

“It’s a deal where it’s kind of inoperable, so it’s kind of something that we’re trying to navigate,” Ragnow said per the Detroit Free Press. “Manage. But hopefully, it’s not going to be near to the altitude of last year where it was like brutal.”

On Tuesday, Ragnow wanted to clarify, worried that concern over the status of his toe had spun a little out of control in the media and with fans.

“I’m feeling pretty good, man,” Ragnow said Tuesday. “I know I let this slip this offseason where I said ‘inoperable’ and just kind of maybe got a little bit blown out of the water. I’m feeling really good. Right now, I’m in a good space, mentally especially, and I’m feeling really good out there.”

In 2021, Ragnow missed 13 games after the initial toe injury required surgery. Last year, Ragnow suffered a separate injury to the same toe early in the season, but fought through the pain all year—calling it one of the toughest years of his career.

Now, Ragnow is in a much better place for two reasons: rest and a concerted effort from Ragnow and the Lions medical staff.

“It’s been a group effort, and everybody’s been working to make sure that this freakin’ big toe is in the best place it can be,” Ragnow said.

That still involves a lot of maintenance from Ragnow, which both involves preventative measures—which he calls “prehab”—along with typical rehab. Detroit’s extensive changes to the medical staff have played a huge part in that.

“I think it’s been a huge addition with this new training staff,” Ragnow said. “Both the old and the new have been just great in helping to do a lot of prehab and rehab, making sure that we’re ready to roll.”

In the past two years, the Lions have not played a single snap with all five of their projected offensive line starters. With Ragnow feeling better and guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai returning to the field following his back surgery, there’s optimism that as long as everyone takes care of their body, this highly-praised unit can finally see the field together.

“Just gotta hope we get through training camp as healthy as possible,” Ragnow said. “You know, it always seems like it catches up to us. And man, if we can keep it going, I think it can be pretty good.”

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