The Oakland Raiders expect new receiver Javon Walker to be ready for training camp when he recovers from injuries incurred during a robbery in Las Vegas last weekend.
Raiders coach Lane Kiffin finally spoke to Walker by phone on Wednesday morning, more than two days after Walker was discovered unconscious and beaten on a back street near the Las Vegas Strip following a night of partying. Walker was released from a hospital after treatment for a concussion and facial injuries.
"The info that I have is he's going to be fine," Kiffin said. "Training camp won't be an issue. ... But until our guys look at him, I don't want to say (the extent of Walker's injuries)."
Kiffin said Walker was scheduled to fly to Oakland on Wednesday evening in time to attend the final session of the Raiders' organized team activities on Thursday, though he obviously won't suit up with quarterback JaMarcus Russell and his new teammates. Oakland opens training camp July 25 in Napa.
"We are aware that Javon Walker was the victim of a robbery," Raiders spokesman Mike Taylor said in a statement. "We have been told that he will make a full recovery in the near future and resume his preparation for the 2008 NFL season."
A Las Vegas police spokesman said a large amount of cash and expensive jewelry were taken from Walker, who was photographed earlier in the fateful evening spraying a nightclub crowd with champagne. His agent, Kennard McGuire, said Walker was "recovering in a private environment" on Wednesday.
Walker signed a six-year, $55 million deal with the Raiders after the Denver Broncos released him in February. The 29-year-old former Packers star has participated in some offseason work with Russell, though Kiffin said two weeks ago that Walker was "a little heavy" for workouts.
Russell has been a high-profile star since high school, and the former No. 1 draft pick is fully aware of the dangers inherent in such a high-profile profession.
"There's people out there," Russell said. "Just be careful and watch your surroundings. Watch out, or always carry somebody with you when you go out. Just watch yourself and know that you're representing a whole bunch of people when you're out there."
Details of Walker's party night still were sketchy, and the Raiders weren't expected to make Walker available to the media on the final day of workouts, with Thursday scheduled to be closed to reporters.
But Walker knows the dangers of nighttime partying better than most athletes.
On Jan. 1, 2007, a still-unidentified gunman targeted a car carrying Walker and several Broncos teammates in a drive-by shooting outside a downtown Denver nightclub. Darrent Williams, a defensive back, died in Walker's arms in their rented limousine after an apparent altercation between a handful of athletes and other partygoers.
Nobody has been arrested or charged in Williams' slaying. Walker and other witnesses said Broncos teammate Brandon Marshall had sprayed that crowd with champagne, which might have sparked the confrontation that led to the shooting.
"All we can do is educate (players) the best that we can," Kiffin said. "We can't babysit them. ... Not many good things happen after midnight, and this is another example of that, another reminder of how dangerous it is out there."