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J.J. Watt cleared to work out following offseason surgery

A lot about J.J. Watt's offseason has mirrored his offseasons past.

He won defensive player of the year, just as he did in two of the prior three seasons. He took his childhood buddies on a guys' vacation, this time to Ireland.

But the thing he hasn't been able to do might have been the thing he loves most: work out.

On Monday, Watt returned to workouts, finally cleared after his January sports hernia surgery, he said in a post on Twitter.

Getting healthy was Watt's first priority this offseason. He suffered the injury at some point during the 2015 season -- when exactly isn't clear. Watt played with the injury for at least six weeks, and it finally became too much to bear in the Houston Texans' 30-0 playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Watt argued to get back into the game, but the trainers wouldn't allow it. He simply couldn't.

It was one of two significant injuries Watt worked through during the 2015 season. He also broke his hand during practice on Dec. 9 and played with a club cast for three games. That injury healed on its own and didn't require surgery.