Clowney underwent microfracture knee surgery last December after playing in just four games during his rookie season. The 22-year-old's recovery time was initially pegged at nine months.
“I think he's gonna be there for the opening game [of the regular season] against Kansas City,” O'Brien said. “I think he's going to make it back, and I'm really looking forward to that. He's working very hard to get back.”
In late March, Clowney told reporters that he is “progressing well” in his rehab but would not say whether he expected to be ready for training camp.
O'Brien told NFL.com that he has “high expecations” for Clowney's return.
“I think the guy has worked hard. When I say high expectations I mean for him coming back and being on schedule to start the season. Now when he comes back to be able to practice in training camp, we don't really know that yet.”
Microfracture surgery is a surgery that aims to repair damaged cartilage in the knee. Multiple athletes have had it in the past, including NBA players Greg Oden, Jason Kidd and Amar’e Stoudemire.
Clowney was the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL draft. He recorded seven tackles and no sacks in his four games last season.
- Molly Geary