"When everybody went home I was still here trying to get back," Padgett told InsideTheVille.com on Thursday. "It's been a little over seven months now since the surgery and I couldn't be feeling any better. I saw the doctor on Monday actually and she was extremely pleased with where I am. I've been rehabbing seven days a week and it's paying off, so hopefully I will continue to make progress."
Padgett, who led the Cardinals in shot blocks and finished second on the team with 6.1 rebounds per game last season, is nearing a complete bill of health and if his doctor's expectations come true, the 6'11, 250-pounder could be back to full action by the start of the season in early November.
"I'm not 100%, but I wasn't really expecting to be at this point," he explained. "I'd say that right now I'm about 80-85%. The doctor said it would be pretty surprising if I wasn't at 100% by the end of the month."
in scoring and rebounding last season
"Initially I'm not going to jump in and practice for two and a half hours," he said. "I have to work myself back into it and try to get my conditioning back as best as possible and then see where we go from there."
A decision has yet to be made about Padgett's potential availability for the team's intra-squad scrimmage on October 27.
The Cardinals will face Georgetown College in an exhibition game on November 1 before officially opening the season against Northwestern State on November 18 in Freedom Hall.