Summer injuries can really make preseason camp interesting, as players vie for the newly available playing time.
Last year, the Wolverines lost their projected starting RB, Tim Bracken, during camp in August, and star quarterback Drew Henson also went down with ankle injury shortly before the 2000 campaign.
Although converted FB B.J. Askew and QB John Navarre filled in admirably, it's always better to have your first choice physically able to play, and this year Michigan has no real serious injuries to deal with.
"We're in relatively good health," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said. "I can't think of anyone who is going to be held out, which is good news."
Although the entire team was cleared to participate and most of the lingering injuries have healed, there are a few that could have an affect on this season.
RB Tim Bracken: leg
Bracken, who sat out all of last season after having surgery on his broken right leg, was back in action for the Wolverines when official practices began.
"I think he's a guy that has what I call great in-line quickness," Carr said. "He can make the shallow cuts, the real sharp cut that a lot of people can't make. He's a guy that plays with a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm and so I'm looking forward to seeing how he comes. Most of the things that he's done have been in our conditioning drills. There's a lot of cutting, but until you cut in a live situation, in my judgment, you haven't really put the kind of stress in that you need to deal with."
That kind of live action is just what Bracken wants.
"I'm really looking forward to contact," Bracken said. "After coming off an injury like that there is always going to be some nervousness afterward. It's going to be tough, but I think for the most part after the first contact is over with, a lot of the butterflies will be over with."
CB Marlin Jackson: wrist
Perhaps the player with the most preseason national recognition has been sophomore CB, Marlin Jackson. He injured his wrist in a basketball game, which prevented him from taking part in spring practices.
"It was very hard (to be sidelined with the injury). I felt like I was falling behind," Jackson said. "I wanted to get out there so bad and hit and do all of the other things that everybody was doing, but I couldn't because I was hurt."
The injury has healed, and he should be at 100 percent for 2002, provided he is more careful in his pick-up games.
OG David Petruziello: back
Petruziello started 10 games last year, playing both guard positions after converting from the defensive line last summer. He missed the spring because of a back injury, and Carr is already looking for a possible replacement.
"I think that's one of the question marks on our team," Carr said. "He has been in our conditioning program and so we just have to see what he can do when we start, and that's why we've prepared. Hopefully he'll be back but if he isn't, someone else has to step up."
CB Markus Curry: back
On Saturday, May 18 CB Markus Curry and LB Carl Diggs were shot outside a party at the corner of Madison and 5th in Ann Arbor. Both players were released from the hospital shortly after the incident, and both are still expected to contribute significantly this season. But Curry may have additional complications in the future -- he still has a bullet lodged in his back.
"What I am told is that they will see how it goes and if he does have problems, then they would make a decision at that time what they have to do," Carr said.
"He's doing great," said his brother Julius Curry, who also plays strong safety for Michigan. "You'll see him out there the first game of the season trying to make plays."
SS Julius Curry: shoulder
Julius is also recovering from a shoulder injury, but he expects that it will not affect him this season.
"I don't really think about it much when I lift weights or do routes," he said. "It doesn't hurt it all, I have no pain. All my strength is back. (Strength coaches) Mike Gittleson and Kevin Tolbert both did a great job. They got me back to where I was last year."