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Dan Koppen on his ankle injury: ‘This is a minor bump in the road’

10.26.11 at 12:48 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Center Dan Koppen made a surprise appearance in the Patriots’€™ locker room on Wednesday morning. The veteran offensive lineman, who fractured his left ankle in the regular-season opener against the Dolphins and was placed on season-ending injured reserve soon after, said it’€™s been ‘€œtough’€ sitting and watching his teammates, but he’€™s found ways to get through it.

‘€œYou want to be out there and you want to be playing, but like I said before, injuries happen. Next man up has to be ready to go. As far as watching, it’€™s tough. But you get used to it,’€ said Koppen, who was in a walking boot.

‘€œI just got off crutches, so I’€™m pretty happy about that,’€ he added. ‘€œI’€™m just getting back into working out and taking it slow. No (reason to) rush back now. Just heal it up 100 percent and be ready to go next year.’€

The 32-year-old Koppen has been remarkably durable over the course of his career — he had only missed one game since the start of the 2006 season. Now, he’€™s been forced to sit and watch. He understands the reality of the situation.

‘€œIt was a decision that was made — it’€™s a business,’€ he said. ‘€œThings have to get done. You can’€™t hold spots all year.

‘€œPeople have been hurt before — I’€™ve been hurt before,’€ he added. ‘€œYou lean on your family. Obviously, my linemates and their support. Everybody around here has been great. It’€™s just been fun being around and being a part of the team and rooting them on as well as I can from watching it.’€

In his absence, Koppen lauded the work of his fellow linemates, saying his replacement Dan Connolly has ‘€œbeen doing good.’€ But with the Boston College product currently in the final year of his contract, it’€™s clear where he would like to be going forward.

‘€œI guess we’€™ll cross that bridge when we come to it,’€ he said of his contract situation. ‘€œI’€™m enjoying where I’€™m at right now, rooting these guys on and hoping they have a great season. We’€™ll deal with that later.

‘€œThis is a minor bump in the road, so we’€™ll be back,’€ he added. ‘€œAnd hopefully, it’€™ll be here.’€

Read More: Dan Connolly, Dan Koppen,
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