By Adam Hoge-

HALAS HALL (CBS) After essentially missing his entire rookie season, Gabe Carimi is finally back on the field and getting close to a full comeback.

The right tackle sat out Wednesday’s OTAs at Halas Hall, but practiced Tuesday and said he would be back on the field Thursday.

“I woke up and (the knee) felt great, but we always had a plan that I wouldn’t practice today so I get to come out tomorrow and get to do what I did on Tuesday,” Carimi said.

What he did on Tuesday wasn’t much, going through team review and individual drills, but he hopes he can practice every day next week, even if it’s on a limited basis.

“It’s feeling great, I feel like I’m explosive off of it right now and hopefully I’ll just keep progressing,” he said.

Carimi said he’s not behind schedule since undergoing surgery Dec. 27. It’s been six months since the procedure and he said that was the original timetable given by his doctor.

There is “constant reassessment” but he appears to be on-track to be full-go by training camp. That’s where he will begin what will essentially be his second rookie season.

“I need to go back out there and actually get a season in,” he said. “So yeah, I have to go out there and prove myself again.”

Carimi wasn’t shy about expressing his frustrations from last season. The plan was never for him to miss the entire season after he dislocated his knee Week 2 in New Orleans, but a mid-season “freak” setback changed things.

“You try to get back as soon as possible, especially that early in the season, but finally you have to come to the realization that you won’t be able to come back,” he said. “That’s never been a situation I’ve had to go through so it was kind of hard.”

Carimi only missed three games during his college career at Wisconsin, so the entire ordeal is new to him. He said he was able to get mental reps last season, but added that nothing compares to “actually going out there and doing it.”

“I don’t know if there were really any positives out of the whole situation,” he said.

Fortunately for the right tackle, there appear to be plenty of positives going forward.

For more Bears coverage, follow Adam on Twitter (@AdamHogeCBS).

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