Darby Returns

Okay, so it wasn't as dramatic as the Dogers' Kirk Gibson trudging out of the dugout on his bad knee to hit a game-winning World Series home run off of Oakland's star closer Dennis Eckersley, but Alabama halfback Kenneth Darby was back at football practice Tuesday, out of the injury jersey into his normal white 34 getting some work in individual and passing drills.

Darby didn't get any repititions in the 11-on-11 periods or the two-minute drill at the end of practice, but he did more Tuesday than he's done thusfar in the spring.

"He's still got a little tendonitis in his knee but we are going to try to ease him back into it," Alabama Coach Mike Shula said Tuesday after the two-hour full pads workout.

Defensive end Chris Harris was also back at practice after missing Saturday with a strained oblique muscle, and Evan Cardwell returned at center after a one-day respite.

In other injury news, Travis McCall missed work Tuesday. He was still suffering from a twisted ankle suffered Saturday afternoon. He will have an MRI to better diagnose the injury. Shula said he was hoping Nikita Stover, who is out with a strained groin, would return to practice on Tuesday, but he did not. "He's feeling better now than he was. We'll see how he is for Thursday."

The team is off Wednesday and will resume practice Thursday afternoon. The squad completed its seventh practice of 15 in the spring with two-minute drills for the first- and second-teams on Tuesday.

John Parker Wilson was four of six in the period and Marc Guillon was three of four, but niether quarterback took the ball into the end zone.

Wilson fired incomplete as time ran out and Guillon threw an interception on the last play as time expired.

Both Wilson and Guillon connected on deep balls down the sideline to Keith Brown earlier in the team portion of practice.

"Defensively we had a good practice other than a couple of deep balls," Shula said. "Offensively it was inconsistent. We made a couple of plays and more mistakes than in the last couple of days.

"Overall as a football team we have improved. If we can improved over the second half of spring as we have in the first haf we'll be good."

Back to Saturday's 44 scrimmage plays, Shula said the offensive line "overall did a nice job" and that linebackers Prince Hall and Matt Collins "kind of flashed." He also said Marcus Carter had a good scrimmage, and Keith Saunders had played well to maintain the first-string defensive end position ahead of Bobby Greenwood.

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