When the Raiders hit the field in Napa, Calif., for their first training camp practice, starting left cornerback Ron Bartell was on the sidelines, nursing a hamstring injury.

Bartell was injured a week before reporting to camp while working out. This is not the way he wanted to begin his Raiders career, but Bartell isn’t complaining. He knows it could be much worse.

Last year with the Rams, Bartell broke a bone in his neck in the season-opener and missed the rest of the season.

“This is very minor,” Bartell said. “After dealing with what I had to go through last year, this is no big deal for me. We’re going to keep treating it. When I’m healthy enough to be out there, I’ll be out there.”

Bartell said the last thing he wants to do is come back too quickly and suffer a setback.

“It’s frustrating, but it could be a lot more frustrating if I pull it and I’m in and out of the lineup,” Bartell said. “I just appreciate them being patient with me and allowing me to get healthy. It’s frustrating, but it’s one of those things that I’ve got to kind of monitor and just take it from there.”

Bartell did some running and cutting on the sidelines during practice Monday.

“It feels OK,” he said. “It’s not there yet, but we’ve got a great training staff and they’ve been doing a great job. It feels a lot better than it did when I first reported to camp or when I first had the injury. I’m going to put all my trust in them, and I know they’re going to be able to get me ready.”

Bartell was drafted in the second round by the Rams in 2005 and started 65 games for St. Louis. The Raiders signed Bartell and free agent cornerback Shawntae Spencer, who started 72 games in eight seasons with the 49ers.

Starting strong safety Tyvon Branch referred to Bartell and Spencer as “wily vets” who can help the younger cornerbacks such as DeMarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa.

“I’ve played a lot of football,” Bartell said. “Shantae’s played a lot of football. We’ve seen a lot of different things, we’ve started a lot of games. We have some knowledge. There’s a familiarity with a lot of receivers around the league and just tendencies and just knowing the game of football. I never want to step on coaches’ toes and try and be a coach out there, but young guys do ask questions because they know you have experience, so I just try to let them know my experience and just try to teach them how to be a professional.

“Whatever they want my role to be on this team, that’s what I’ll gladly do. I went through so much last year sitting out with a neck injury. It humbled me in a lot of ways. I’m just happy to be able to play football. So whatever they need me to do, that’s what I’ll do.”

Follow Raiders reporter Eric Gilmore on Twitter: @CBSSportsNFLOAK.