Derrick Locke, Part 3 of 3

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. FREE BONUS COVERAGE TOMORROW ON DERRICK LOCKE

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.

"I have shed a tear before. The first four weeks is the worst. You are just out of surgery, you still have the numbness, you get the blood rush when you stand up. You are in so much pain that you don't want to move," Locke said. "But you have to move it.

"Let's say you have a broken finger and somebody grabs it and they mess with it and you tell them to stop. But when you get to that point with your knee, you can't stop. You have to push through it or you are not going to get your extension back or get your flexibility back. You can't get your muscle back until you get your flexibility and extension back. Once you get that, then you can build your muscles back.

"That first four weeks will make a man out of you. Honestly, if somebody comes back from a bad injury, I will give them their respect. It is rough. It breaks you down and makes you not want to do it. I didn't want to do it.

"I hated getting up in the morning knowing I was going to hurt myself. Every time I got done, I was in pain. My trainers did stuff I didn't want them to do. I hated them for it. I was mad. But at the same time I knew they were doing it for a reason, so I stayed in there and stuck it out."

Locke said rehab was harder than any hit he ever took on the football field.

"Them hits are nothing compared to rehab. Rehab will make a man out of you. Seriously. It is not for everybody, and hopefully not for me again," he said.



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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