Vaught: Minton read to go

Kentucky's Josh Minton, who will be a redshirt freshman next season, was forced out of action last spring due to injury. When KSR's Larry Vaught spoke with Josh about rumors circulating that questioned his readiness for spring practice Minton said, "I am back and I am full go"

Josh Minton was so eager to get back on the practice field Wednesday that he forgot his knee brace.

"I did forget it. I had to go home and get it," said the Kentucky redshirt freshman defensive end. "I kind of forgot I was supposed to wear it, but before I was going to go back and get it I thought it really wouldn't matter since we were just going out in helmets and shorts. But they are pretty concerned for me, so they made me go home and get it."

Minton didn't enjoy being hurt and missing last season. That's why he was so anxious for spring practice to begin.

He read the Internet reports that he wouldn't be able to go through full contact work, but he says that was never true.

"It is definitely good to be out there playing again," Minton said. "There was never any question that I was going to be out here for this spring. Maybe there was some talk that I wouldn't, but I am back and I am full go. I am ready to go."

Minton, though, will admit he's still not 100 percent healthy.

"I think my lateral movement has got a lot better, maybe 80 percent better than it was. I don't think I am full 100 percent, but I am pretty close to it. Hopefully I will be going full bore by the end of spring," he said.

His knee injury and surgery limited his offseason workouts. He says his squat is down about 70 pounds and his other lifts that involve his leg have also decreased.

"I am still squatting quite a bit, but not to my full potential. Anything that involves my leg is down. I can't let it get me down. I just have to work harder," Minton said. "I think I have come back rather fast. I feel comfortable now. I am just ready to go now."

Still, Minton knows he faces stiff competition to earn playing time.

"I am going to have to play very well and be an intelligent football player. I have to know where to go every play and be physical if I want to play," he said. "We have some really talented guys out here. They have moved Ventrell (Jenkins) out to end and he is a very explosive player that can play end or tackle. (Jeremy) Jarmon is not here (because of a recent surgery), but he will be back soon. I just have some great players in front of me. All I have to do is just learn from them. Maybe I will be able to make some mistakes before I actually take a starting role."

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