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Karl Joseph doing rehab and mental reps, still targeting return for Raiders training camp

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Raiders top pick Karl Joseph was the only player not on the field the first day of rookie minicamps, but he was at the facility, still targeting training camp for his return.

Levi Damien

There was nearly full attendance on the practice field for the Raiders' rookie minicamp. With the notable exception of their top pick, Karl Joseph, who is still recovering from an ACL injury he suffered early in his senior season.

Joseph is expected to miss the all of the offseason workouts and minicamp and he said he is on target to take the field for the first time in training camp at the end of July. Until then, he must soak in what he can.

That process began when he arrived at the Raiders facility Monday, which allowed him to get into a more "consistent routine" to help make sure he's ready when he returns to the field.

"It's tough not being able to go out there and practice and learn the stuff, but I'm still learning in the meeting room," said Joseph. "But right now I'm just focusing on rehabbing and getting healthy."

The Raiders accepted the fact that they would be without their top pick on the practice field this offseason. They also expect that when he finally does hit the field in training camp, that he will be ready to go.

"We got him here as quickly as we could, with all the rookies and Karl in particular," said Del Rio. "The meetings that he's involved in, we're still able to walk it and talk it so we're doing some of that. All of the players that are mending will continue to work hard and do the things that they're able to do with [Head Strength and Conditioning Coach] Joe [Gomes] and with [Head Athletic Trainer] Rod [Martin] to get themselves back. It's definitely valuable time to have. We don't get enough time with these guys and we've got to maximize the time we do get and be really efficient with it."

Joseph is sure to point out to those who would suggest his playing style makes him more prone to injuries is that this was the first injury of his career.

Much of that thought is due to his small stature, which draws comparisons to Bob Sanders, who was a great NFL safety, but spent a lot of time on the sidelines injured. While Joseph is short, he is built in such a way that doesn't suggest he would be more prone to injury.