Training Room Visit

While Florida State's injury list has increased by one -- defensive end Alonzo Jackson might need surgery on his left wrist (bone chip) -- it's so far, so good. Headliners such as Darnell Dockett, Travis Johnson, Anquan Boldin and Robert Morgan have returned home for rest, recovery and rehab, but they are only a call away. "Basically, I check up on their workouts. ... and to see what their status is," assistant trainer Duane Brooks said Tuesday.

Randy Oravetz nods approvingly as he peers over Florida State's injury list. While that number has increased by one -- defensive end Alonzo Jackson may need surgery to remove a bone chip in his left wrist -- the checklist doesn't offer any major surprises.

That's great news this time of year.

"We are in good shape at the moment," smiled Oravetz, the Seminoles' longtime Director of Sports Medicine. "We have guys who are coming in and have been good about their rehab, but a lot of these (injured) guys have gone home for a few weeks and are just getting back."

Riddled by injuries last season, FSU is hoping for better luck this year. The Seminoles survived spring drills just fine, Oravetz said. Nicked players who remained for the first summer session have been good about splitting their time between the weight and training rooms, Oravetz added.

Injured starters who went home to rest, recover and rehab include defensive linemen Darnell Dockett (knee/Achilles heel) and Travis Johnson (ankle) and receivers Anquan Boldin (knee) and Robert Morgan (knee).

Assistant trainer Duane Brooks telephones players each week to check their progress and answer any questions.

"Basically, I check up on their workouts that we gave them to take home and to see what their status is," Brooks said.

"Just to see if they are having any problems doing the workouts - checking on swelling, pain, inflammation, discomfort. I talked to Darnell (earlier Tuesday). He's doing real well. He's had to come back from two surgeries - his knee following the Gator Bowl and the bone spur (Achilles tendon). He's getting stronger. His flexibility is increasing. He does have some mild pain sometimes with his first step in the morning but there's not anything major that we need to worry about."

Brooks also is pleased with the progress made by Boldin and Morgan. The pair is expected to anchor a talented receiving corps that returns fellow senior Talman Gardner as well as sophomores Craphonso Thorpe and P.K. Sam, a duo that combined for 26 catches, 444 yards and three scores last year. Boldin and Morgan, meanwhile, have 94 career receptions for 1,471 yards and 11 scores.

"Anquan is doing well," Brooks said. "He probably needs to drop a little weight - (he is) a little heavy from lifting. But he's running routes without any problems. Robert is very much the same way. He's probably a month behind Anquan in terms of strength - he had some other things involved (in surgery). But Robert is doing very good, too. I think everyone should be pretty much on pace for the start of drills."

Sophomore tight tackle Ray Willis stopped in to receive treatment for tendonitis (left knee) following his early afternoon weight-training session Tuesday. Willis, who is battling Todd Williams for the starter's role, also continues to recover from a dislocated shoulder suffered during spring drills.

"I am just trying to get better basically," Willis said. "My shoulder is probably about 85 percent. I am almost fully healed. I kind of hurt my knee in spring drills and have a little tendonitits but it's fine. Everybody has been upbeat. It has been real positive around here, everyone is encouraging everyone to do what it takes to accomplish our goal of getting to the Fiesta Bowl (national championship). Right now, I see everyone pushing each other to be the best."

Of course, FSU is looking to rebound from last year's 8-4 struggles. The Seminoles certainly ended their season on a positive note, beating Georgia Tech in the regular-season finale and waxing Virginia Tech in the Gator Bowl. FSU returns 55 lettermen - 22 offense, 30 defense, three special teams - and 17 starters - seven offense, eight defense, two special teams.

"We can be as good as we want to be," Willis said. "We have the talent. We have the coaching. It's going to come down to how bad we want it. Right now I am seeing that in a lot of eyes. It has been tremendous. I've been told this is the most players who have been around for the first semester of summer school. Everyone is trying to get their goals accomplished, not only on the field but in the classroom, too. It has been real positive."

The same could be said of the Seminoles' injured list, according to Oravetz.

Redshirt offensive lineman Blake Williams is undergoing a double-dose of rehab following back and knee surgeries. Senior defensive tackle Tony Benford is doing well following surgery to remove scar tissue from his finger.

Oravetz also said sophomore defensive back Bryant McFadden (foot) is on a running program, while linebacker Kendyll Pope (shoulder), offensive lineman Bobby Meeks (ankle) and defensive end Willie Jones (knee) are progressing nicely. Redshirt freshman defensive back Gerard Ross also is on schedule following knee surgery last season and participated in Tuesday's weight-training session.

The injured share a common goal.

"I am trying to put myself in a good position for the season," Willis said. "I am just trying to get in the best possible shape and get healthy."


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