Senorise Perry's impressive return

University of Louisville senior running back Senorise Perry has surprised most by his quick return to the practice fields after suffering an ACL tear last November.

When the Cardinals traveled to Syracuse last November, they did so with a unblemished 9-0 record and with a pair of running backs that were both on course to eclipse 1,000-yards on the season. Early in the first quarter, with the score knotted at 3-3, running back Senorise Perry suffered a season-ending ACL tear. The Cardinals returned to Louisville with their first loss of the season.

Following months of constant rehab, spending extra hours with the training staff, Perry was on the field on day one of fall camp. Outside of the brace that protects his right knee, Perry displayed no signs from the injury.

"One thing that I'm probably most excited about, and in awe of, is how Senorise has come back," said offensive coordinator Shawn Watson, giving credit to, "his hard work and the hard work of our training staff."

"Those guys in the training room don't get enough credit either, for the job they do," he continued. "They did a great job with Senorise. Of course, he had to do the work, but they had the plan and they have really done a nice job with him."

Perry leaves practice on Saturday afternoon.

Perry's motivation was simple. Despite the difficult rehab, Perry's real pain came from the sidelines, where he watched his teammates finish the season with a conference title and Sugar Bowl victory. During the summer 7-on-7's, he continued to work his way back, but was still left watching.

"I put in work everyday," Perry told Cardinal Authority. "I just wanted to be back out there with my teammates and compete with them. It was hard watching. That's why I come out there and work."

Due to his rapid rehab, the coaching staff has drawn comparisons to how Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson rebounded following a similar injury. Only 8 months removed from the injury, Peterson started the season opener and went on to capture the 2012 NFL Most Valuable Player award.

"We told him there would be two guys who roll off this injury," Watson explained. "If he comes back this fast, he and Adrian Peterson. We said that Adrian Peterson is an exception, he's a freak. Senorise asked me if he was, so I have to categorize him as one, too."

When he suffered his injury, Perry was leading the team with 136 carries for 705 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Through the early stages of fall camp, Perry's ability to be on the field for the first day of practice isn't the only impressive aspect of his return. His performance has been equally surprising.

"They compared his rehab to Adrian Peterson, because he kind of came back real fast," said senior linebacker George Durant. "I was really surprised. He wears his brace, but he still cuts real good and runs behind his pads. He really doesn't look like he missed a step."

Following five days of practice, including one in full pads, Perry is feeling great.

"It feels like nothing ever happened," he said. "It's all a mind thing when it comes down to it."

Perry is the lone senior in a group of talented backs and his return to the backfield will make his final season as a Cardinal one to remember.

"I feel good," he said. "I'm not worried at all. As long as I'm able to go out there and work with my teammates, I'll be just fine."

Cardinal Authority Top Stories