Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls said his rehab this offseason has been "phenomenal."

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Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls said on Sunday he expects to be ready for the start of training camp.

Rawls suffered a season-ending ankle injury in December that required surgery. But at Richard Sherman’s celebrity softball, Rawls was optimistic about his return.

“Rehab is going phenomenal,” he said. “Running, cutting, working hard and getting back out there. I’m looking forward to being out there the first week. Rehab has been going phenomenal this whole offseason. I don’t have a break because I have to work 10 times harder. I’m excited to come back and fill that void in the backfield.”

Rawls added, “I’m working so hard to get back out there. The only thing that I know is I work hard each day. After that, the results will play in when the time comes up.”

Coach Pete Carroll said in mid June that he expected Rawls to be ready for the start of the 2016 season but didn’t know if he would be back by the start of training camp. At the time, Carroll said tight end Jimmy Graham was further along in his rehab process than Rawls.

Rawls is expected to replace running back Marshawn Lynch in the Seahawks’ backfield. As a rookie last season, Rawls rushed for 830 yards and averaged 5.6 yards per carry. He┬áhad the toughness and cut-back ability the Seahawks want from the position.

Rawls reflected on his change of status in the last year on Sunday.

“A year ago ain’t nobody know me,” he said, laughing. “I used to go to the store and just shop peacefully. No, but I enjoy it. I’m real grateful, and I’m so excited to be here and play for a great organization and a great coach with great teammates. A lot of those guys are leaders in that locker room, and Richard Sherman is one of them.”

Rawls said he has spent a lot of time with Sherman this offseason, getting financial and off-the-field advice heading into his second season.

“My relationship with (Sherman) has been short but very impactful, especially with Marshawn leaving,” Rawls said. “Me and Sherman spent a lot of time this offseason together putting a few things together and making sure that I’m alright as long as I’m up here. A real inspirational guy.”