Britt's rehab going very well

For Tide fans looking for some good news, the appearance of big Wesley Britt, sans crutches and any type protective cast or boot on his surgically repaired leg, should certainly suffice.

The pre-season All-American and two-time All-SEC lineman suffered a badly broken leg early in the Tennessee game. And in one of the most memorable moments from an otherwise forgettable season, Britt ignored the pain and exhorted the crowd and his teammates as he was being wheeled off the field.

It's a moment that Tide fans won't soon forget.

With both bones of his lower leg broken, Britt of course missed the rest of the season. Surgery was quickly performed, with various metal parts in the form of rods, pins and screws being inserted to fix the double breaks. The surgery was, thankfully, entirely successful. But when you're dealing with athletes--especially 300-pound-plus athletes--there's always a concern.

Will there be any lingering effects?

Will the player be able to return to form?

In Britt's case at least, early reports are very encouraging. When we ran into him earlier this week on campus, he was on his way to a workout in the weight room. Wearing shorts and a t-shirt, Britt also sported a broad smile.

After undergoing surgery to repair the two broken bones, Wesley Britt was back on the Alabama sideline -- on crutches -- but also on hand to encourage his teammates.

The leg is feeling good. His younger brother Justin will soon join Wesley and middle brother Taylor on the Alabama squad. So what's not to like?

He's still being cautious in what he asks of his leg. "Don't worry; I'm not going to do anything stupid," he said, when the subject of spring practice came up.

But the fact that he's already able to get around on his own and begin gingerly working himself back into football shape is good news indeed.

"There's no pain anymore," he said. "Not really."

Predictably, the surgically repaired leg lost some muscle tone. For several weeks following the operation Britt followed doctor's orders and kept all weight off the leg. But looking at him now, the difference between the two limbs is not that great. In other words, Britt shouldn't have any real trouble returning to full strength in plenty of time for the 2005 season.

If you see him on campus, he'll be limping a bit, favoring what just a few weeks ago was a badly injured leg. But then don't forget to look up.

When you do, you'll see the smile.

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