Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan confirmed the team's interest in re-signing free agent running back Tim Hightower, today.
"We want to have him back, obviously," Shanahan said at his pre-draft press conference. "We think he'll be full speed by the first of June, middle of June. Hopefully we'll get him re-signed."
Hightower is currently in the process of recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that he suffered in Week 7 against the Carolina Panthers. He has been in contact with the team, and is reportedly recovering quickly.
"Tim is doing a great job on his rehab," Shanahan said. "Talking to Dr. Anderson, he said that he's never seen a guy that has worked as hard as Tim has and that doesn't surprise me at all."
Shanahan praised Hightower last season for his ability to run, catch the ball out of the backfield and pass block on offense. He has also praised Hightower for his leadership in the locker room, particularly with the younger running backs.
"One of the things that people forget in free agency is signing your own players," he said. "We like to emphasize to our players is that we're going to take care of the guys that took care of us last year."
However, despite interest in a reunion, Shanahan did not rule out selecting a running back in the draft.
"You're going to go after your board, what we think is best for our football team, what gives us some depth," he said. "All of those things that you deal with on draft day."