Tagovailoa looking forward to going full speed in March

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Tua Tagovailoa talks to the media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 in Indianapolis. (Detroit Lions via AP)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Tua Tagovailoa climbed up a couple stairs, then walked to the podium without a hitch Tuesday.

It was a promising start to a critical week.

Eventually, the former Alabama quarterback revealed what NFL scouts eagerly awaited: He should be cleared to resume all football activities March 9 and will hold his pro day workout April 9 — exactly two weeks before the NFL draft.

“It's been a process," Tagovailoa said. “We went to the hospital for medical checks yesterday at 10 in the morning and I was the last person to leave. I got back about 7:49 last night, so right in time for the informal and formal (team) interviews."

It's been a grueling process ever since the man with the multi-million dollar arm injured his hip Nov. 15. Two days later, he had season-ending surgery.

Tagovailoa spent the next three months working his way back, rehearsing answers to all those nagging questions he expected at the league's annual scouting combine.

Here, in Indianapolis, the 6-foot, 217-pound college star is one of roughly 300 draft prospects getting poked and prodded, measured and tested this week.

But the continual queries about his health are a stark reminder how tough the comeback journey has been.