RENTON, Wash. -- Marshawn Lynch, two months to the day since he last played, boarded the Seattle Seahawks' bus Friday afternoon as they began their trip to Charlotte for Sunday's divisional round playoff matchup against the Carolina Panthers.
Coach Pete Carroll said Friday that Lynch is on track to play Sunday. Lynch had abdomen surgery on Nov. 25 and has not played in a game since Nov. 15.
On Jan. 8 he told the team he didn't feel right and did not travel to Minneapolis for the Seahawks' wild-card game last weekend. Evidently, all Lynch needed was another week of rehab.
"He was faster and more explosive this week than last week," Carroll said. "You could see that he made an improvement."
Asked whether he knows what to expect from Lynch, Carroll said, "We'll figure that out as the game goes."
"Have you been around here very long with Marshawn and all that?" Carroll said. "Not always do we know. He's somewhat unpredictable in certain ways, but he's really pumped to play football and play with his team. So we're looking forward to him playing like he has in the past. We'll make sure we watch and see how he's doing and how much we can play him."
On Thursday night, Lynch texted ESPN's Kenny Mayne and said he was ready to return.
Running back Christine Michael will still rotate in quite a bit, Carroll said.
The team does not need to put Lynch through a pregame test. Barring an unforeseen setback, he'll be on the field Sunday.
Said Carroll: "We'll see how he responds to everything tomorrow one more time, but all the indications are that he's in good shape to go."