Friday Grid Update, 12/15

Peyton Hillis may return to the practice field soon after a successful procedure knocked away scar tissue and calcium around a bruised thigh.

Some of the big guns were on the sideline watching with a fine collection of recruits while the young guns went through a scrimmage, head coach Houston Nutt said after Friday's evening practice in Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

Darren McFadden rested a sore ankle, a bit puffy from spending so much time on his feat speaking at award banquets the last few days.

"He'll be fine in a couple of days," said Danny Nutt, the running backs coach. "He was standing too much in Orlando and New York City and it puffed up a little. He got some treatment today and we didn't want him to do anything but rest tonight."

The big news concerned fullback Peyton Hillis, out since early November when he sustained a severe thigh bruise. Hillis underwent a procedure to relieve star tissue and calcium buildup that was considered a last resort to get Hillis back on the field before the bowl game Jan. 1 against Wisconsin.

"It went very well," Houston Nutt said. "Dean (Weber, UA trainer) was encouraged and this is the first time we've been that way with Peyton in awhile. He was able to do get range of motion today and they worked him out real hard today.

"There is a good chance now he can play. We'll rest him the next two days and Dean expects he will resume workouts Monday with no problems. It looks very good for Peyton now. He's excited and so are we."

The young linemen got a good workout at the end of the practice that concluded with a lengthy scrimmage for redshirts. Offensive line coach Mike Markuson was especially pleased with the work of true freshman DeMarcus Love and Ray Dominguez.

"I'd say the two standouts of the redshirt freshman the last few days have been DeMarcus and Ray," Markuson said. "Ray is up to 305 and DeMarcus is 315 and they are still very athletic. They have grown and gotten stronger. They looked great tonight.

"I like what Joey Crossland is doing. He had a great night and he's getting better. I'd been worried about him, but he's really been physical and is doing good things. He's got a big old body and we think he is going to be a fine backup center. That's good news.

"Jose Valdez and Nate Garner have gotten a lot of work and they just keep getting better. They have done nice things in middle drills this week. Nate is going to be a very good fifth-year senior next year and will be very productive. He's gotten to be a fine fundamental player and he's going to have a great senior year."

The Hogs will continue their Wisconsin preparations with a 11 a.m. workout Saturday. Nutt said that while they have rested some key players, the varsity continues to hit Wisconsin plays, formations and alignment each day. He said there will be more of that this weekend in the workouts. The Hogs plan to work through Wednesday before breaking for Christmas on Thursday.

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