Derrick Locke, Part 2 of 3

Some initially feared Locke might miss this season because of his anterior cruciate ligament injury. Instead, Locke has been ahead of schedule on his recovery and will hear no part of any talk about him not playing this season.

Some initially feared Locke might miss this season because of his anterior cruciate ligament injury. Instead, Locke has been ahead of schedule on his recovery and will hear no part of any talk about him not playing this season.

"I have been working so hard for months. My goal is to come back and play. When I first got hurt and was told it could have be a career-ending injury, it had me kind of down. I was down and out really," he admitted. "But at the same time I decided I was not going to let this get me down. I was going to work hard and if I don't come back it won't be because I didn't put in the effort. That is why my work ethic and everything has changed. I am being more positive.

"The goal is to be ready by fall camp. I want to get hit. I want to get my confidence and get ready for the season. I do not have any time to waste. I do not want to be redshirted. I sat out half a season last year and it was the worst half season of my life. A whole year (sitting out)? I don't know if I could do that. I might go crazy. I have to be out there with my boys. They are out there working and I want to work with them. The main focus is getting my quad back, getting my girth size back and making sure my muscles are the same size. I have to get my strength back and then be ready to go.

Locke thought he was a tough guy who could take about anything. Then he injured his knee last season and has had to go through rehab to get back. At times, he says he felt like he let the team down by being hurt and not playing. That was hard mentally. But the physical pain came in rehab.



Check back tomorrow for more on this series of articles, which appeared in last month's issue of KSR, the magazine. Sign up for Kentucky Sports Report, the magazine, today. It is filled with great articles and glossy photographs of all things Wildcats.

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