It's "taking a little longer than we thought," for LSU running back Leonard Fournette to get back to being healthy following ankle injuries this season, LSU coach Ed Orgeron said on Wednesday's SEC coaches teleconference.
Orgeron said Fournette is not expected to play this week against Southern Miss and hasn't been able to practice. The Tigers are waiting Fournette to be back to full health before inserting him into the lineup.
"No, he's not ready. I'm sure if he'd be ready, he'd be playing. Not even able to practice," Orgeron said. "We're only going to put him in when he's healthy and 100 percent ready to go."
The injury has been certainly a downer for LSU's star running back, who many picked to win the Heisman Trophy entering the season. Orgeron said it's a process and he really thought Fournette would be back by now.
"I thought he was going to play two weeks ago. I let Jack and them do it. We're just taking it day-by-day."
Fournette will now have this weekend to continue to rehab and get healthy before trying to play against Ole Miss on Oct. 22 at 8 pm CT on ESPN.
Orgeron also touched on Fournette's attitude, saying he's a team player. The staff wanted to give him the MVP trophy after the team's 2015 win over Auburn, where Fournette rushed for 228 yards and three scores, but the New Orleans native refused and gave the trophy to his offensive line.
Former LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson, now UTSA's head coach, led the way on Fournette's recruitment. Orgeron said the battle was tough and a big reason why Fournette has meant so much to LSU is him being a Louisiana native.
"It was a tremendous recruiting battle. Frank Wilson, who is a good friend of mine, did a great job."