Bowers looking for full recovery

CLEMSON – Da'Quan Bowers was forced to sit out two games last season after injuring his right knee against Coastal Carolina. On Wednesday, he admitted the ligaments weren't fully healed upon his return a couple of games later.

In fact, the right knee has yet to reach 100 percent.

"It's doing really good. I can cut, plant," Bowers said. "In just the little bit of rehab I've been doing the past few weeks, I can tell a major difference in my explosiveness. It's powered back up a little bit."

To help the knee return to full strength, the reps during spring practice have been cut down, even though he's not being listed or considered injured by the coaching staff.

"It's not really holding me back," Bowers said. "We just came up with the idea to limit my reps, so I can just focus on my knee and try to get it back to 100 percent.

After the Music City Bowl, he discontinued his rehab.

"I should have kept going to rehab and kept lifting weights with it. I didn't and it got weaker as time went on," Bowers said. "It really showed in practice a couple of weeks ago."

Heading into the spring, he wasn't sure how to approach his lingering injury.

"I went through winter conditioning and all these all in drills," Bowers said. "I thought maybe it's been doing pretty good.

"I could feel it. It wasn't strong but I thought I could fight through it and strengthen it back up as we went along."

With an eye on the future, he and the coaches decided that focusing part of his practice time on strengthening the knee would be the best idea. Something he would be doing for 20 reps, has been cut down to 12.

There's no yellow or green jersey for him to wear during practice, limiting him to no contact. He goes through everything, just not as often.

"By cutting my reps down, I can focus on strengthening it back up, doing certain things with it out there, trying to get my mojo back," Bowers said.

Head coach Dabo Swinney said it's a matter of Bowers "just continuing his rehab" this spring.

"He's doing fine. We've all kind of challenged Da'Quan," Swinney said.

He believes there's another level Bowers needs to reach to become the dominant player he is "capable of being."

"He can be a good player, but he's capable of being a great, dominant player," Swinney said. "He's not there yet."

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