FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Ronnie Brown is taking things slowly.
Nearly three months after Nov. 20 surgery to repair a Lisfranc fracture in his right foot, the Miami Dolphins' running back still isn't jogging and isn't sure when (or even if) he might be able to participate in organized team activities.
However, Brown says he is "ahead of schedule" and remains optimistic he will be fully cleared by the start of training camp in another 5 1/2 months.
"I know I want to be in training camp," Brown said Saturday morning while volunteering at a Habitat For Humanity building project in Rock Island. "I think that's a goal that's very, very attainable."
Brown undergoes daily therapy at the Dolphins' training facility in Davie. With the help of team trainers, he puts himself through a battery of exercises to strengthen the foot and ankle area.
X-rays were taken a few weeks ago, Brown said, and Charlotte, N.C.-based surgeon Dr. Bob Anderson gave his long-distance approval.
"He looked at them and said everything looks good," Brown said. "Eventually I'm going to have to go back (to Charlotte) before I start running."
Brown knew little about Lisfranc in the immediate aftermath of the mid-foot injury he suffered in the Nov. 15 game against Tampa Bay. He has since learned about the strong recoveries enjoyed by other members of the Lisfranc club, including former running back Warrick Dunn, Giants defensive end Justin Tuck and Dolphins teammates Will Allen and Donald Thomas.
"There's a big list of guys that have had it," Brown said. "They say once you heal up, everything is fine. You don't want to push it too hard, but at the same time you want to push it enough to make sure you're doing everything that will make it heal up."
Brown, 28, is highly motivated to have a second Pro Bowl season in 2010. He also wants to prove he is durable after missing a combined 20 games his first five seasons, including season-ending injuries in two of the past three years.
He would become a free agent if the NFL achieves a new labor agreement before March 5, but no one expects that to happen, and Brown plans to remain with the Dolphins, his first choice long-term as well.
"If it was up to me, ultimately I want to be here," Brown said. "I think I've established a foundation here and I'd love to be here for the rest of my career. Unfortunately, sometimes there are decisions that have to be made."