Smith Participates in Practice

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas running back Michael Smith has hated watching practices from the sideline this spring.

But after sitting out for the past three weeks, the senior was finally rewarded for his patience Tuesday.

Smith was given the green light to practice for the first time since undergoing hamstring injury. Arkansas didn't practice in full pads, so Smith took part in a good chunk of the workout.

"I don't know if you can see the smile on my face right now," Smith said. "I've been dying to get out there. A little bit too eager sometimes. Coach (Bobby Petrino) told me I have to learn patience. I wasn't going to come back in a month or a day. Now that I'm out there taking a couple of reps it feels a lot better."

Smith said he worked through five or six periods of the two-hour practice. He also participated in pass skeleton drills.

Arkansas' backfield, depleted by injuries and relying on De'Anthony Curtis, Broderick Green, Adrian Moore and Mitchell Bailey, got a lift from Smith's return. It also helped that sophomore Dennis Johnson, who was out last week, practiced some after injuring a foot two weeks ago.

"It helps the depth of that position," Razorbacks running backs coach Tim Horton said. "It's been kind of butchered here the last couple weeks so we're glad to have them back and on the field."

Horton said neither player is 100 percent, though. He said Johnson's status for the Red-White Game on Saturday is unknown while Smith won't participate Saturday, but he is hoping to get in as much work as possible the next two practices.

"You don't want to miss spring," Smith said. "You want to get out here and play football. ... I don't have much time left."

Barnett Update

Petrino said running back Brandon Barnett broke his tibia during last Friday's scrimmage and underwent surgery late that night. Barnett, who had a rod inserted in his leg, has been released from the hospital and the Razorbacks believe he'll be ready for practice in August.

Petrino said it was a disappointing injury because of the tough spring Barnett has endured. He missed most of the first two weeks because of his stepfather's death.

"It's a shame because he was really doing a nice job and he needs this," Petrino said. "He needs to be out here. He's had a tough break here lately, so he needs to be part of it. Our players have done a nice job of making sure we take good care of him."

Mallett Just Fine

The shoulder injury that forced quarterback Ryan Mallett out of Friday's scrimmage didn't seem to bother him Tuesday.

Mallett participated in the entire workout and said afterward he wasn't slowed by any soreness in his nonthrowing shoulder.

"It's fine," Mallett said. "It's just a little bruised up."

Extra Points

• Tight end Chris Gragg (high ankle sprain) missed practice Tuesday and will not be available for the Red-White Game.

• Offensive lineman DeMarcus Love and linebacker Jermaine Love got into a scuffle during run drills Tuesday. Jermaine Love lost his helmet before the skirmish was broken up by coaches.

• Kevin Trainor, Arkansas' associate athletic director for media relations, said Arkansas and Razorback Sports Properties are working to finalize details for a weekly football coach's call-in show that will feature Petrino and begin this fall.

Hawgs Daily Top Stories