Healthy and Happy

Randy Oravetz's temporary training room doesn't have running water, carpet or windows. Still, the facility is functional and it's business as usual for Oravetz's staff. OL Todd Williams, for instance, is recovering from ankle surgery earlier this week.

While Florida State's temporary training room doesn't feature the comforts of home -- no running water, no carpet, no windows -- it's functional nonetheless. Randy Oravetz, the Seminoles' longtime director of sports medicine, views his new venue as an extended road trip.

"We are self-sufficient," smiled Oravetz, who is entering his 24th season at FSU. "We are used to moving around, working on the road, working out of our travel trunks. We are treating it like a bowl game (laughing)."

Oravetz and staff recently moved from the Moore Athletic Center into a cinder-block building (1,400 square feet) on the old Florida High School campus behind Dick Howser Stadium. Of course, FSU athletic personnel had to yield to the wrecking ball, as the athletic center will be torn down and replaced with a superior, modern version.

"It will be fabulous, no doubt about it," Oravetz said.

Until that time -- contractors expect the project to take 14-18 months -- it's business as usual for the Seminoles' training staff.

Last Tuesday, for instance, offensive lineman Todd Williams had five bone spurs removed from his left ankle and scar tissue cleaned out.

Also, defensive linemen Travis Johnson (ankle) and Darnell Dockett(Achilles heel) continue their daily rehabilitation from off-season surgery. Both are slowly progressing into a running program as their strength and range of motion improves.

Additionally, nose guard Tony Benford recently underwent a second surgery on his left hand (torn tendon).

Linebacker Kendyll Pope, meanwhile, continues to recover nicely from shoulder surgery. Receivers Anquan Boldin (knee) and Robert Morgan(knee) also are on schedule to return for the start of preseason drills in August.

Oravetz said redshirt freshman fullback James Buchanan (shoulder) is making progress, as is defensive back Gerard Ross (knee). Offensive lineman Blake Williams will soon begin his rehabilitation following knee and back surgery. Lineman Bobby Meeks also is recovering from ankle surgery.

Following final exams next week, players will exit for a quick vacation.

"I think after spring ball we are doing very well and a lot of guys are coming along," Oravetz said.

"For our first (summer) session, we will probably have 60 percent of the team here. For second session, we will probably have 80 to 90 percent of the guys here. We need a little bit of a break. Everyone needs a break because when you go at it every day of the year, you get a little bit stale. But this team seems to be a little bit more tightknit. There are some good leaders.

"As of right now, the plan is everybody should be. .... if you were asking today, yeah, come August 1st, those guys will all line and be ready to go."

VITAL PIECE OF PUZZLE

It goes without saying that Oravetz's operation is considered an important aspect of the Seminoles' athletic program -- no matter where the building is located. Oravetz's staff worked out of an 80-foot-long trailer when the athletic center was built in the early 1980s.

Overall, FSU currently features five training rooms on campus. Oravetz's new digs is a pair of first downs away from Florida High's gymnasium, which is currently serving as the Seminoles' weight room.

"We laugh because we didn't tell them where we were going and they still found us," Oravetz said. "The one good part right now is we are only 25 yards from the weight room. Guys can come by here -- there's a parking lot right outside -- it's convenient."

Convenient, but not extravagant.

Since the building has no running water, student trainers fill a pair of 10-gallon coolers daily with water. At least three ice chests are filled with ice. Oravetz's entire staff made the move, including basketball trainer Sam Lunt. Lunt will soon make a second move to the new basketball practice facility at the Leon County Civic Center.

Oravetz's makeshift room features four training tables, three cushion chairs -- they are moved daily by the players as a joke for different views -- four computers, four telephones and a stairmaster. Of course, any heavy rehab is performed in the weight room.

"Guys have been coming and going," Oravetz said. "Sure, it's inconvenient (at times). They don't have a dressing room right here. They don't have shower facilities. We don't have certain things that make it nicer for an athlete, but it's functional."

Oravetz and his staff are scheduled to move back into the Seminoles' old training room in the athletic center July 26. Freshmen report July 29. Contractors are simply working around the facility at the moment and maintaining it as best they can.

Oravetz's new facility, which will extend into the old atrium, is going to be a beaut.

His current floor space of 4,200 feet will be increased to 15,000. He will have both a hot and cold Jacuzzi, eight whirlpools and an exercise tank (8 feet by 42 feet) that will feature a jet stream to swim against. Oravetz will have 24 treatment tables instead of 10, an X-ray room, two doctors' offices, a pharmacy, a nutritionist, vaulted ceilings and twice as much storage space.

Plus, once Pensacola Street is torn out, athletes and fans can mingle in an open plaza that will lead into the new athletic facility. Until that time, Oravetz's approach won't change.

"Again, this is only temporary. We will be fine," Oravetz said.


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