Will Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III be ready for Week 1?

Seattle Seahawks rookie running back Kenneth Walker III is working his way back from a hernia surgery. Here is the latest we know.

Will impressive Seattle Seahawks rookie running back Kenneth Walker III be ready for Week 1 of the regular season after a recent hernia surgery?

That’s a pressing, unanswered question for the Seahawks, but there are signs that Walker is about to return. Perhaps just in time for the first game of the season.

Kenneth Walker III injury update

A former Michigan State star who won the Walter Camp and Doak Walker awards last season as the top running back in the nation, Walker has made a sound recovery from his surgical procedure.

He had the surgery after the first preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now, Walker has returned to practice, and there’s a shot that he’s ready for the first game of the year. It sounds more likely that he’ll be ready for the second game, but he hasn’t been ruled out yet. A league source emphasized that Walker is extremely tough and has made a speedy recovery from the hernia.

“This is really uncharted territory for him and for us too in that regard in what he’s coming back from,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll told reporters. “He feels way better, he’s moving around, he was throwing the football around today. It’s just going to be one day at a time, and I told him I’m going to start punching him in the stomach here pretty soon, a couple days from now.”

Walker is a dynamic runner who rushed for 1,636 yards and 18 touchdowns last season for the Spartans. He also has speed to burn, recording a 4.38-second 40-yard dash.

If Walker isn’t ready, the Seahawks will lean on Rashaad Penny. He rushed for 100 yards in four of Seattle’s final five games last year and had six touchdowns in that span.

Walker has made a big impression on Penny, replacing Chris Carson, who retired due to a chronic neck injury.

“He’s fast,” Penny said during camp. “This dude can play and reminds me of a smaller Chris. Just watching highlight tapes, and who he is, he’s very outgoing, can talk, and he isn’t afraid of anything. He fears nothing. I like the way that he just wants to learn and wants to be great. I have a special feeling about him. He’s a great dude.”

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