Darby Discusses Recovery

One of the positions of question that will remain unanswered after Alabama's Saturday A-Day scrimmage is running back. Kenneth Darby, the leader rusher for the Tide in 2004, had surgery on March 2nd for a condition known as sports hernia. BamaMag.com caught up with Darby on Thursday at Alabama's pro day for his first interview since the surgery.

"I've been doing fine, just resting up and trying to catch up on things," Darby said. "They basically told me to rest for 4-6 weeks after the surgery and after that I will be ready to come back strong."

The nature and extent of Darby's injury was unclear before the Tide's final regular season game with Auburn, and was first described as an abdominal strain, then a stress fracture in the pelvis afterwards. Darby logged very limited playing time in Alabama's Music City Bowl appearance against Minnesota on New Year's Eve.

"I knew it was kind of severe," he said. "I had it since the Auburn game, but I didn't know I had to have surgery until the off-season. All of the processes I was going through to try to get it better weren't working and surgery was the last resort. When we first did the examination it showed I had a fracture on that bone (pelvis). That healed up pretty fast, but they didn't realize it was the muscle and the bone. Come to find out it was the muscle that was the primary injury."

It's been a little over two weeks since Darby underwent surgery in Philadelphia, Penn., and Thursday was the first day many of his teammates and coaches had seen him since the surgery. Offensive coordinator Dave Rader jokingly re-introduced himself to Darby.

Darby has been in the training room receiving treatment while his teammates go through spring training.

"I've been around but they have been in meetings," Darby said. "They continue to ice me down. I haven't felt any pain since I've been back."

Darby said he expects to be doing "something productive" in July towards getting back to top condition for the 2005 season.

"I'm praying that (the pain) will be gone, but if there is any I know it will be something I can tolerate," Darby said.

Tide Head Coach Mike Shula said Friday that, "Ken is still a question mark. Of course, he's just two weeks removed (from surgery), so he's still got at least two more weeks where he's not doing anything."

"Everything I've been told is an injury that should be ready for the fall, but he hasn't even started rehab," he said.

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