Berry Not Fully Healed; Beck May or May Not Start

Though <b>Matt Berry</b> practiced yesterday with the first team for the first time since he broke a bone in his throwing hand, BYU head coach Gary Crowton said "I'm going in saying it's John (Beck) until I feel Matt (Berry) is there" for the Wyoming game.

Berry himself conceded he is still not fully healthy. "I think I'm about 75% right now. Last week, I was about 60%. The ball was slipping a bit. I just want to make sure my timing is good. I don't want to rush anything. I'm just going to practice and try to get my rhythm back."

During drills yesterday, Berry moved the team effectively downfield until he threw a ball across his body that was picked off by safety Kip Neilson. "I thought my hand was about at 75%, but I'll say 72% after that throw," Berry joked.

Crowton said the biggest thing Berry needs to work on is his timing. "The one thing that he's missed is a month of timing, but I expect him to get that back quickly. He had it before the injury and I expect him to get that back quickly."

In the meantime, Berry plans to rehab his finger while getting his rhythm back in practice. He said he dips his finger in hot wax to heal the scar tissue in his pinky finger after surgery. While the bone is all but healed, it is the flexibility in his finger that needs to progress.

"The bone is where we thought it would be, but the flexibility is a different issue. I wasn't sure where he'd be at this point. Matt has to be full speed before he plays. We'll be able to tell on Matt based on how practices go this week," Crowton added.

He added he won't make a decision and won't likely know if Berry will start until Thursday, but until then he's going into the Wyoming game as if Beck is the starter.

"I'm going to try and get them both ready. I'm not going to hold off. I'm just going to go as if it's John and see if Matt progresses. If I make a change, then I'll make it at the end of the week."

Meanwhile, Berry expects to start and play well against Wyoming. "Yes, I expect to start. This is BYU and that kind of stuff (game against Colorado State) doesn't happen. My main concern is winning. That's what I'm all about."

Practice Notes:

* Marcus Whalen did not practice or dress for yesterday's practice. Crowton said Whalen was a little "dinged up," but should be ready to play against Wyoming. Nathan Soelberg also did not dress after pulling his hamstring. Levi Madarieta was another of the walking wounded. Crowton mentioned that Madarieta would give it a go later this week and see if he could run on his foot effectively. * Taufui Vakapuna did participate and looks to play against Wyoming. Fahu Tahi will not serve his suspension, as planned, during the Wyoming game.

* Manaia Brown worked out on a stationary bike with Coach Omer for most of the practice session. His shoulder and hamstring have him listed as day-to-day.

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