Barnett Gets Okay From Doctors to Rehab

IU-bound cornerback Lawrence Barnett received some good news from the doctors last week - his broken fibula has healed, and he's now free to begin rehab. Barnett talks about when he'll be back on the field and about his conversations with the IU coaches...

Bloomington – Lawrence Barnett has cleared one big step in his return to the football field.

The IU-bound cornerback from Ft. Wayne's Bishop Luers H.S. has been sidelined ever since he suffered a broken leg in the opening week of the high school football season. The subsequent surgery had him on the shelf for six weeks, but 5-11,180-pounder received some good news last week when a visit to his doctor revealed the bone has healed and he was cleared to begin rehab.

"They have me doing a lot of motion stuff, and last week I started on some of the harder things with rubber bands to stretch my foot out," Barnett said. "It's been tough, but I'm getting through it."

The injury was actually a spiral fracture of the fibula, just a couple of inches above his ankle. It was a non-contact injury that occurred when he fielded a ball on a punt return. His foot was twisted in an awkward position on a wet field, and he felt the bone crack when he tried to make a cut.

Barnett said he still has hopes of rejoining his Bishop Luers' teammates on the field sometime next month. The original prognosis was for him to be out for three months, which would have him ready to return in the third week of November. Luers is the defending Class 2A state champion and has hopes of a return trip to the state finals, which would give Barnett an outside shot of being back on the field in the playoffs.

"There's a small chance if I keep healing like I've been and we make it far like we did last year," said Barnett, who added he's unsure whether or not he'll play basketball as well.

Whether he's able to get back on the football field this fall or not, Barnett admits to being comforted by the fact his spot on IU's roster is secure. He heard from the Hoosier staff the weekend of the injury, and they went out of their way to show sympathy about the injury and to reassure him they wouldn't withdraw the scholarship offer.

"The first thing I thought about when the injury happened was that I wasn't going to be with my teammates anymore, but after that I started thinking about college and if everything was going to be okay with that," Barnett said.

"But they told me they were really sorry it happened to me my senior year, but they wanted me to heal up and then be the lockdown corner they need at IU next year."

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