Kruse expected back in a week

Michigan State looking to get a boost from the return of the senior offensive lineman

Michigan State is close to getting back a key member of its offensive line in time for conference play.

On Wednesday, offensive line coach Mark Staten said senior Connor Kruse, who hurt his left leg in preseason camp, should be back when the Spartans play Wyoming on Sept. 27.

”Health is a big thing, critical thing and knock on wood, it’s been OK,” he said. “Can’t wait to get Kruser back here in a week and see what happens.”

Staten said Kruse was running and hitting the sled at practice Tuesday.

When Kruse went down, the Spartans moved projected starting right tackle Donavon Clark inside to right guard, while sophomore Kodi Kieler took the starting spot at right tackle.

With Kruse’s return, the line could again see some shuffling among the starting group.

”That’ll also make everybody else a little nervous who has been starting the last few weeks, because you don’t lose a spot because of injury,” Staten said. “So he comes back, I think a couple guys are entrenched where they are, but a few other guys need to continue to accelerate their play.”

With Kruse back, Staten said the Spartans will gain more leadership and toughness.

"He’s terrific, he doesn’t get enough praise for his leadership value and he’s a former walk on, earning his way for a couple years and then gets a scholarship," Staten said. "The toughness, the demand that he places not only on himself but everybody else in that room and on the offense is tremendous.

"When you’re nicked up, just human nature, you don’t feel like you can make those demands.”

The Spartans have been starting sophomore Jack Conklin, senior Travis Jackson, junior Jack Allen, Kruse and Kieler, from left to right.

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