Bloomington, Ind. – James Hardy looks at his latest setback as just another test.
The Hoosiers' 6'7", 215-pound wide receiver suffered a broken left ring finger at practice Monday morning and is expected to be sidelined for the remainder of fall camp. If all goes according to plan, the first-team preseason All-Big Ten choice will be back on the field the week leading up to the Hoosiers' season-opener against Indiana State.
"I did everything like I usually do, but the ball hit it wrong and it broke," Hardy said. "I'm not sure how long I'll be out, but I won't miss any games, so everything is going to happen."
Hardy's injury was one of a handful of injuries that hit the Hoosiers on Monday. Starting defensive tackle Greg Brown injured his left shoulder Monday morning and was wearing a sling at practice Monday afternoon. But IU co-Defensive Coordinator Brian George said Brown's injury should only keep him sidelined for about a week.
Senior cornerback Tracy Porter, meanwhile, suffered a dislocated left ring finger at practice Monday afternoon while intercepting a Ben Chappell pass. The injury kept him on the sidelines for the final hour of practice, but he said he'll be ready to go this afternoon.
"I didn't know it was (dislocated) until I took the glove off and I didn't see my knuckle," Porter said. "But once he popped it back in place it was just like a jammed finger. It's coming along fine."
Ultimately, it was Hardy's injury that turned out to be the most significant Monday. With him on the sidelines, Terrance Turner will likely take his place on the No. 1 unit until Hardy is ready to return.
Hardy said he was hopeful the injury wouldn't be as serious as it turned out to be, but he feels fortunate that the timing shouldn't keep him from playing in any games.
"I was hoping it wasn't broke," Hardy said. "I was sitting in there at x-rays, they're looking at it, and (I'm thinking) please tell me it ain't broke. They told me it was broke, but it's something I'll have to get through once again."
While the injury was every bit as bad as Hardy feared, his teammates don't have much concern about his availability for the season opener Sept. 1.
"I've known him for the last two years, and he's played through two or three injures that people didn't even know about," said quarterback Kellen Lewis. "If he has to get five hours of treatment a day, he's going to find a way to play on Saturdays."
Injury Picture Brightens for Hoosiers
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