Renardo Foster nearly 100%

After suffering a season-ending injury in just the forth game of 2004, offensive lineman <b>Renardo Foster</b> has made rapid progress this spring and anticipates his return to full training and contact. Foster spoke with about his rehab and when he expects to be 100%.

By the time Renardo Foster began his sophomore year his future was already bright. As a redshirt freshman Foster started at right tackle every game and was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman squad.

Three games into that sophomore season and things were even looking better. Foster had become a dominant force along the Cardinals strong offensive line. U of L was off to an impressive 3-0 start and had climbed into the national rankings. The Orange Bowl matchup against 4th-ranked Miami was just two weeks away.

Renardo Foster suffers
injury against ECU

Then during the Cardinals forth win, a 59-7 pasting of East Carolina, Foster experienced what offensive linemen fear the the most.

The following Monday morning, U of L head coach Bobby Petrino confirmed what most expected.

"We found out this morning that he has a torn knee ligament and will miss the rest of the season," Petrino said at the time.

Since that moment, Foster's focus was on rehabbing. Foster stood on the sideline using crutches and watching as the Cardinals gave one away in the Orange Bowl.

He's been away from normal team activities since October 2nd. He's been on crutches. He's been pushed to difficult limits. He's ran sprints while dragging weights. However, last Friday the junior from Ripley, Tennessee worked with the team for a couple reps of contact drills.

"I started doing a little more than normal last week," Foster told "It's coming along. I feel good with my knee."

On Monday, Foster's routine included quite a bit of time spent on him running the same play that he was injured on, as well as one contact rep against one of the defensive ends.

On Monday Foster practiced the play
he was injured on

"He started me out running the play that I got injured on, so I can get that out of my mind," Foster explained. "The first couples of times I went, I started my cut and couldn't go through it. It took a couple times, but I was able to go out and go to the ground."

Head strength and conditioning coach Jason Veltkamp told ITV on Monday that Foster is rapidly approaching complete recovery.

"Physically, he's a essentially there," Veltkamp explained. "He does need to get stronger in his knee, but he's essentially there. He just needs to overcome it mentally."

Foster agreed that the most difficult part is overcoming the injury mentally and that he is ready to get past that hurdle.

"Coach Veltkamp told me that he was starting to get me back into football mode, because I've only been doing a lot of rehab and stuff in the weight room," Foster said. "So now I need to get back into football mode and I'm ready."

The goal set for his return to full training and completely cleared for contact is quickly approaching.

"I told him that I expect him to be back in football shape the first week of June," Veltkamp said.

Foster doesn't plan on taking that long.

"I told [Coach Veltkamp] that instead of going home, that I was going to stay here in May and continue to work," he said. "My goal was to be back to 100% in June, so I can get back in with the team. I think I'll be ready to go before June."

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