GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Rahjai Harris was part of a nice one-two punch in the backfield with speedster Keaton Mitchell last season for the East Carolina University football team.

That is until he hurt his knee halfway through the season. He’s currently working hard to get back to his old self. Meanwhile, the pain he’s experiencing is both physical and mental.

“I miss it, man,” Harris said earlier this week. “I ain’t going to sit right here and act like I don’t. But it’s all a part of the process.”

Surgery and physical therapy are one thing. Being separated from the sport he loves is another.

“Just not being out there with my brothers, man,” Harris said. “I see how much fun they’re having. It’s not the same being on the sideline just looking at it. You want to go out there and make them plays, too.”

Just because his body took a hit doesn’t mean his head or his heart have. His mentality of getting better 1% each day is fueling his return to the field.

“One percent. I’ve got to live by that every day,” Harris said. “Me and (head football) Coach (Mike) Houston spoke about it last week. You’ve just got to live by it. I can’t tweet it and not be about it. I’m not playing physically but I’m still out there mentally, locking in, learning plays, learning positions.”

Even though Harris is still recovering and Mitchell is getting ready for the NFL draft, it doesn’t mean Pirate Nation should sound the alarms. The running back said he’ll be more than OK when he returns.

“All them guys, from Javoius Bonds being the youngest to Gerald Green being the oldest, it’s an elite room,” Harris said. “It kind of started by me. I’ve been here through the ugly, through the good and the bad but they are all the type of people you want in your room.”

As for an update, Harris said not to worry, he’ll be back.

“I’ve been sprinting for about two weeks now so I’m building, that’s making me happy just to think about,” Harris said. “I’m out there running, sprinting and just thinking about getting back. Next couple months, I’m getting there.”