Loren Howard on His Fast Rehab

<b>NU</b> Junior Defensive End <b>Loren Howard</b> was supposed to be the star of the Defense in 2004. He well was on his way in preseason when he injured his ankle the Saturday before the first game. <p>He had surgery to fix the tendon and started rehabilitation. He didn't start against Wisconsin, but you saw #66 in most of the defensive stands. Here's the pregame interview...

NU played the first half of the season missing an important part of the Defensive Line...

Before the game with Wisconsin, Northwestern Defensive End Loren Howard talked with WGN's Ted Albrecht about finally getting back on the field.
[The bowl] was the last time I really played a game. I played that game with an injured ankle so I'm pretty excited to get out there - play football ... practicing, get out here again.

Its a little rough - there's a couple of things I can't really do on it, but I'm out here. Its held up two days in practice real good and I'm ready to go, ready to play now.

Asked if he's been tested off the field over the past few weeks....
Pretty much I wanted to speed up the rehabilitation process. I was supposed to be out for five or six months - I had surgery on September 3rd so its been essentially six weeks and the doctor said that's unheard of anybody coming back that fast.

Its kind of hard testing it out because I was in a cast for 3 weeks, so 3 weeks ago I was in a cast and now I'm out here playing so..rehab was for strengthening, balance stuff, then I came out one day and did some lateral movement stuff, next time I was out here I was practicing so.

And did he feel anxious to get back on the field?
I'm anxious and also nervous in a sense too because its like sublimated in the back of your mind to really turn it up. I think game day I'll have the adrenaline going and its time to rev it up and go play.
How about the timing of his return in this game
Its a big game. Any time you play a Big 10 team its every week, so its exciting. I know I've been on edge going into Wisconsin. Its one of the two stadiums I've never been to play in before.

Its a ranked team and its an awesome environment and its an atmosphere that going to be fun - exciting. Saturday's are kind of my sanctuaries, I'm glad to get them back. I kind of felt I was robbed for 6 weeks, and now I've got it back I'm just jacked completely.

There are a lot of Wildcats who have never been to Camp Randall - what are you anticipating...
Loud fans, good environment, good football atmosphere, just like any other Big 10 stadium.

I hear they're pretty rowdy up there, they get after it a little bit pregame, but its going to just like anything else, really loud, you know they're going to be yelling at you, throwing stuff at you, you know the whole ordeal, just like anywhere you go.

Once the first snap goes you don't really think about it to tell the truth. the only time you think about it is if its really loud and you're trying to hear a call. Other than that, you kind of zone 'em out because you're still focussed in playing the game.

Its exciting for the first five minutes, get riled up, you look around that's pretty fun, but once the ball is snapped its time to play and you sort of zone them out.

And you want to play a big time opponent in a big time setting for all the marbles...
Definitely. you can't really get better than that - ranked 7th and undefeated, its go time, you couldn't ask for anything better than that, you know?

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Before the game with , Defensive End talked with WGN's about finally getting back on the field.

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