ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- It's only natural to be skeptical about a running back in the NFL trying to make a comeback following surgery for a torn Achilles' tendon.
Logically, it will take Mikel Leshoure until the second half of the season, if not 2013, before he returns to form for the Detroit Lions after missing all of his rookie year.
But for many in the Lions' locker room, realism turned to optimism Thursday during the final day of the team's mini-camp.
For the first time since his injury last August, Leshoure got some carries during the team drills, and even though there was no hitting because the players weren't in full pads, observers came away extremely impressed with his progress.
"That's what I thought, too ... it's going to take a year for him to get back into his form," said teammate Nate Burleson.
"For him to be out here the last couple days, getting the ball, catching it out of the backfield, bursting up field and not only running straight-line but cutting, I mean that...