knows all about missing portions of training camp with an injury. It happened to him last year when he injured his hamstring during camp and didn't play in any of the preseason games.
After a slow start to the regular season in which he caught 18 passes in the first five games, Ward said it wasn't until Week 6 in Atlanta that he started feeling fully healthy and ready to play at his four-time Pro Bowl level again.,
That's why he's hoping wide receiver Santonio Holmes
, last year's No. 1 pick, out with an undisclosed injury, doesn't miss too much of training camp.
"It was difficult for me, the time I missed," Ward said. "This is where all the timing is developed, the regimen we're going through with two-a-days to get your body in shape. Last year, when I missed all of camp, my body never got going till right before the Atlanta game."
Holmes has not practiced since the start of camp because he is recovering from an undisclosed procedure that is non-football related. Yesterday, he stood in one spot of the practice field and caught one-handed passes with each hand from one of the conditioning coaches.
Afterward, he said he has "no idea" when he will return to practice, only that he has to "listen to the doctors, and if they say take time off, I have to take time off."
Holmes added, "It's very frustrating, knowing I have to sit out and can't help the team right now."
Big things are expected of Holmes this season after the way he finished 2006. In his final four games, he caught 16 passes for 320 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown pass in the season finale in Cincinnati. He also returned a punt 67 yards for a score against Carolina. By the end of the season, Holmes was splitting time with the team's starting split end, Cedrick Wilson.
"I'm more excited about getting more opportunities to help the team this year," Holmes said
Asked if the injury is a setback, he said, "I don't think so. I don't think having to sit out a couple days, a week, however many days it is, will set me back."