Delvin Breaux is counting on it.
The Saints cornerback has been drinking milk constantly since breaking his fibula against Oakland in Week 1 in the hopes the influx of calcium will spur a faster recovery.
There’s no way of knowing for sure if the extra dairy in his diet has helped at all, but that isn’t stopping Breaux from trying anyway.
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“I drink about four or five milks a day,” Breaux said. “They say it helps strong bones, so I was just drinking.”
Whatever Breaux did, he must have done something right during his six weeks off the field.
Breaux returned to action — to a small degree — this week, as he “tested” his leg in defensive back drills and went through his techniques.
Breaux was clear that he has not received full clearance from the Saints medical staff to return full time — and he did not suggest any official timeline has been made — but Monday was a step in the right direction.
Breaux said he was unsure if he would practice this week or return against Seattle on Sunday, leaving that up to the coaching and training staffs.
“We won today,” Breaux said. “That’s a big accomplishment. Going into these next couple of weeks, I’m feeling pretty good. The training staff said I’m progressing really well, so we’ll be out there soon.”
Breaux said more than anything he felt out of shape after being sidelined for so long and needs to get back to where he was in terms of conditioning.
He’s been coming into practice an hour early every day for treatments with the expressed goal of not staying out for any longer than he needs to be, and maybe even cut some of that time down.
Coach Sean Payton did not give any specifics on Breaux’s full return, saying all of the team’s injured players are working hard to get back to action.
Breaux was expected to be one of the secondary’s leaders this season after he led the team with both three interceptions and 19 passes defended last season, racking up 37 tackles in the process.
Safety Roman Harper said he didn’t get a chance to see Breaux on the field Monday but is happy to see him moving in the right direction with his recovery.
As for safety Kenny Vaccaro, he won’t celebrate until Breaux is back for good.
“He’s not back yet,” Vaccaro said. “I’m sure it’s going to feel great when he’s actually here. But he’s still working, and I’m not going to get too happy just yet.”
Breaux was injured on a special teams play in the second quarter against the Raiders when a knee collided with his leg. He returned to the game on defense in the third quarter before he realized what happened.
After Breaux underwent surgery, doctors told him he would be out for 4-6 weeks, a shockingly low amount of time, Breaux thought.
This injury was easier for Breaux to handle after going through similar, and even worse, injuries through his career.
Back in high school, Breaux thought he may never play football again when he broke his neck while at McDonogh 35, so a broken leg was nothing to overcome.
“I just don’t question it anymore,” Breaux said. “I know injuries are part of this game, and sometimes I just deal with it. I always just try to keep a high spirit, and I always just try to enjoy the moment, enjoy the opportunity.”