Ryan Cleared to Play, Decision up to Hoke

STORY: Bardy Hoke gives the latest on Jake Ryan's injury and more W/Video

ANN ARBOR -- Junior outside linebacker Jake Ryan has been cleared to play by the Michigan medical staff. But still has one more hurdle between him and the playing field.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke.

Ryan, who tore his anterior crucial ligament in spring practice, has been practicing with the team and is trying his best to persuade Hoke to get on the field this season.

"He wanted to play last week," Hoke said. "He wanted to play the week before. What do you think he going to say? ‘No coach – I don't want to play!'

"I think he's getting closer (to playing.) Will have good practice with him tomorrow. Believe me – he's wanting to play. He seems to feel, OK. We still need to make sure that he can do the things that he's capable of doing."

No. 16 Michigan (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) travels to Penn State (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten) this Saturday. And the Wolverines could use Ryan's production, he finished 2012 with a team-high 88 tackles including 4.5 sacks. Hoke would not confirm Ryan playing but said he "potentially" could play this Saturday against Nittany Lions.

"But it's still playing football," Hoke said on Ryan's injury. "When you haven't played in a longtime. Now, we've tried to get him in, get him in. But we don't put him in everything. We hadn't early."

Hoke said it's not matter of Ryan's conditioning – but how his knee holds up physically.

"We alternate condition with him – all that kind of stuff," Hoke said. "I think it's more making sure structurally and I know the doctors have cleared him. We made that clear. But I think it's how (his knee) hold up. He play's pretty fast. I'm probably more worried about it than anybody.

"I just worry a lot. I get that from my mom."

Pipkins Tears ACL

Sophomore defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins tore his ACL in Michigan's 42-13 win over Minnesota Saturday and will be out the remainder of the season.

Pipkins finishes the season with seven tackles.

"Your heart goes out for Ondre cause of the hard work he's put in," Hoke said. "Any guy gets hurt, obviously. I'm pretty close to him, cause I coach him. So it's something that is a little adversity for him, obviously for our team. Just like anything else, will keep working together and get through it."


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