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Pouncey could miss first half of 2014

When Dolphins center Mike Pouncey went in for surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, the best-case scenario for getting him back on the field was three months. In other words, he was likely to miss all the games in September.

Well, a source familiar with the center's surgery and recovery says it's more likely he will miss four months (from the time of surgery June 23). That would carry the rehab process through September and into late October.

"Eight weeks is probably what we're looking at," the source said today.

The Dolphins have a bye the weekend of October 4-5 so the regular-seasons' first eight weeks will cover seven games.

Every person is different, obviously. Some heal sooner. Some do not. Some have a higher tolerance for pain. Some do not. And Pouncey is said to be aiming for missing as little time as possible.

But the recovery is the recovery and missing only three games is looking unrealistic.

Pouncey, by the way, will open training camp on the physically unable to perform list. The Dolphins hold their first practice Friday.

The Dolphins policy is not to comment on the injuries or recovery periods of their players. The team also in the past has threatened players with fines if they discuss their injuries or recoveries with the media.

So the best way to gauge Pouncey's recovery at the end of training camp will be to monitor whether the club puts him on the active roster or places him on regular-season PUP.

If the team puts Pouncey on the active roster, he will still be miss September's games as he continues to recover. But this will suggest the team is comfortable with him returning sometime before six games are played.

If the team places Pouncey on the regular season PUP this will prove the rehab and recovery from this surgery will extend beyond the initially hopeful three-month recovery period.

Placing Pouncey on regular season PUP gives the Dolphins flexibility with a roster roster spot, but the player must sit out the first six games.

After six games, teams have a five-week window in which to allow the player to begin practicing. Once the player begins practicing teams have a 21-day window in which to decide whether to activate the player to the 53-man roster. If either of those deadlines pass, the player must remain on the PUP list for the remainder of the season.