Injury Could Take More than Time to Heal

Understandably, Alabama Head Coach Mike Shula didn't want to broach the worst-case-scenario subject in relation to the healing process for tailback Kenneth Darby, but the rising junior's injury has been a main topic of discussion throughout the first week of Alabama's spring practice.

"Is pretty much the same – wait and see," Shula said in response to the question about Bama's 2004 leading rusher. "I hate to use the word in front of y'all because I don't want you take off and run with it," Shula said.

But he did, "Surgery would be the last option," he said.

Shula stressed that an operation had not been determined necessary, and said Darby could wait another month to see if the injury heals before a decision is made on whether or not to operate.

"Hopefully he gets better with rest," Shula said.

Darby has been scratched from any practice in the spring in the hopes that time will heal his injured pelvis region, but there is one disconcerting option if time alone doesn't heal him fast enough.

The Crimson Tide squad completed the third of 15 spring practices Friday, its first in full pads. Alabama will practice in full pads again Saturday morning at Bryant-Denny Stadium and could have some live tackling in 11-on-11 team drills at the end of practice.

After Friday's practice Shula said, "Our defensive really did a nice job today. We had a blitz period and our defense looked good, and they should at this point. On offense we've got to continue to take a good look at all these lineman and keep evaluating each guy."

There was another loss of a scholarship player on offensive line with the departure of Von Ewing from the squad. Ewing was not at practice on Friday.

"He decided to hang it up, so he won't be with us. He'll stay in school and work toward getting his degree," Shula said.

One defensive lineman, tackle Dominic Lee, was back on the field Friday from orange-jersey injured status on the first two days, but was still less than 100 percent healthy.

Over 400 high school coaches from around the region were on hand for Alabama's coaching clinic. Saturday is the final day of the clinic.

"It's nice to see those guys around. Our staff has done a great job getting to know these guys," Shula said.

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