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March 29, 2013 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-03-29

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8 - Friday, March 29, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Toussaint finishing long recovery
By MATT SLOVIN
Managing Editor

6

At first, Fitzgerald Toussaint
thought he was just experienc-
ing a really bad leg cramp early in
Michigan's 42-17 rout of Iowa in
November.
Then, the
redshirt senior NOTEBOOK
looked down.
Toussaint's "out-of-wack" knee,
as the runningback put it, was the
last thing he remembered seeing
before he entered a state of shock,
only coming out of it once joined
by his mother at the hospital.
Somebody, possibly a referee, told
Toussaint to stay down, despite his
instinctto get right up.
"It was just shocking," Tous-
saint said Thursday after the
team's eighth practice of the
spring. "Like, how did that hap-
pen?"
Toussaint compared his injury
to the gruesome one suffered by
then-South ' Carolina running
back Marcus Lattimore that made
national headlines because of the
unnatural way his right knee bent.
When Toussaint looked down at
what he would find out was a bro-
ken left tibia and a fractured left
fibula, the hit on Lattimore is what
immediately came to mind.
He knew then, lying in the hos-
pital bed, that his season was done,
but he was determined to make
sure his career wasn't.
About halfway through the
spring football season, Toussaint
isn't yet ready for contact, but he
described himself at about 85-90
percent health, ahead of schedule
based off the initial prognosis.
The possibility of sitting out this
year and applying for a medical
redshirt wasn't something he ever
considered. When Toussaint came
out of his boot, after the Outback
Bowl loss to South Carolina, he
realized playing this season was
realistic.
"It was a long few days (in the
hospital)," Toussaint said. "I had
my leg kicked up. I couldn't use the
bathroom. I couldn't eat."

Redshirt Junior linebacker Jake Ryan underwent sugery on a torn ACL on Thursday.

Redshirt senior running back Fitzgerald Toussaint is nearing 100 p

Toussaint's found an ally in
recovery in junior cornerback
Blake Countess, whose year ended
in the Wolverines' season-opening
loss to then-No.2 Alabama.
"Working with Blake is really
inspirational," Toussaint said.
"We come in here and support the
team and do what we have to do to
contribute."
That's a much different role
than the one Toussaint assumed
in spring ball last year. Then, he
became the top running back on
the depth chart. Now, he has to
leave the field when the pads come
on, working on conditioning while
the other backs take reps.
As part of his rehabilitation,
Toussaint arrives in the morning
for about a 90-minute rehab ses-
sion before heading to class, only
to return in the afternoon when he
bookends practice with hour-long
sessions.
Toussaint said he's "basically"
living at the football facilities "to
the point where they want to kick
me out."
Until he's back to 100 per-
cent, Toussaint insists on making
sure the younger running backs,
like redshirt sophomore Justice
Hayes, are doing everything they

can to take advantage of the time
with the coachingstaff.
"I'm ready for (full pads), but
I need to fine tune some things,"
Toussaint said. "I wouldn't do it
because I don't think I'm ready for
the contact part. It's more of a feel
- the more rehab I do, the better I
can prepare myself"
RYAN UPDATE: After tear-
ing his anterior cruciate ligament
(ACL) in practice on March 19,
redshirt junior linebacker Jake
Ryan underwent surgery Thurs-
day.
Recovery times vary for such
an injury, so coach Brady Hoke
was hardpressed to give a defini-
tive answer as to whether Ryan
would play this season, though he
remains optimistic.
"I think everybody's differ-
ent," Hoke said. "Nine months to
12 months, some people say. Some
people say six to nine. I think it
just depends on the individual."
In Ryan's absence, Hoke
expects redshirt senior Cameron
Gordon and junior Brennan Beyer
- who moved from defensive end
to linebacker - to fill in.
"I don't think they've changed
their work habits, their game or
their work ethic." Hoke said of

Ryan's understudies. gan will host Cincinnati at Michi- Michigan, $1.2 million to make the
When asked for a more defini- gan Stadium on Sep. 9, 2017, the trip.
tive timetable on Ryan's return, Detroit News reported Wednes- The men's basketball team is
Hoke said "I can't make those day. expectedto playahome-and-home
predictions, I'm not qualified," but According to the report, the series against Cincinnati in 2015
that "his progress is going well." University will pay the Bearcats, and 2018, the report said. Exact
FUTURE SCHEDULING: Michi- who have never played against dates are yet to be announced.

I

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