Coleman Hopes to Return to Action Soon

Defensive end Antonio Coleman discusses his injury and and how he is progressing.

Auburn, Ala.--Since suffering a cervical sprain in Auburn's first scrimmage of the spring a week ago last Saturday, defensive end Antonio Coleman hasn't practiced, but on Tuesday the rising junior said he hopes to be back in action later this spring.

"I did a little bit of running today and everything felt good, but I have to go back after spring break and check with the doctors and see if everything is alright," Coleman said after Tuesday's Auburn practice.

Antonio Coleman watches his teammates at Tuesday's practice.

"I went to Birmingham and all of the tests came back and they didn't find anything wrong," Coleman said. "I am feeling alright besides it getting stiff every now and then. Hopefully, I can get back before the spring is over."

The Tigers will practice once more this week on Thursday morning and then take the entire following week off with the university out of session for spring break. The Tigers will play their annual spring game on March 29th, but will likely have an additional scrimmage the following week.

Coleman was transported to East Alabama Medical Center as a precautionary measure by team physician Michael Goodlett and head trainer Arnold Gamber after the defensive end was injured on a pass play on which he was being blocked by offensive tackle Lee Ziemba.

"Basically, I was paralyzed for a couple of minutes," Coleman said. "It was real scary, but after a couple of minutes I got my feeling and everything back. I didn't have all of my feeling back by the time the ambulance got there, but when I got inside the ambulance I started moving my leg."

Coleman arrived at East Alabama Medical Center shortly after noon and walked out of the hospital approximately two hours later after his injury was determined to be a cervical sprain.

When asked how it happened, Coleman said, "I really don't know. We were battling. It just happened.

"It happened, it's in the past," Coleman added. "I am just looking to move forward."

Ziemba said he was "petrified" when the ambulance took Coleman away from Jordan-Hare Stadium. Coleman and Ziemba both say everything is fine between the two. "I have talked to him and we are still cool," Coleman stated. "Things like that happen. Unfortunately, it was a bad play. I got hurt, but I bet you it won't happen again. That's for sure. It is dealing with my life and what I am doing up here at Auburn as far as my education is concerned. I just hope it doesn't happen again.

"We were battling," Coleman said. "It just happened after the play, or whatever. I am not going to comment too much on that about what happened. Like I said, it definitely won't happen again."

Coleman noted that he when returns to practice, he will won't be tentative. "I am full speed every time I touch the field," he said. "I love to hit, I love contact. I might get a little sore here and there when I get back out there, but it is all in the game."

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