Krenzel Hopeful He Can Return Saturday

Injured quarterback throws football for first time today as he begins push toward returning to action.

Craig Krenzel met with the media Tuesday evening, a few hours after he threw a football for the first time since injuring his elbow in the first half of the Sept. 13 win over N.C. State.

Krenzel first put the elbow to the test on Monday when threw tennis balls, he said. Today, he threw the football "20 or 30 times" as he continues to rehab the injury to a ligament and tendon in his right throwing elbow.

"I am still day to day," Krenzel said. "I haven't taken any reps or thrown any deep outs or tried to throw down the field."

Krenzel admitted he does not know whether he will be able to play in Saturday's Big Ten opener against Northwestern.

"Ideally, I would like to practice a little bit tomorrow and a little bit on Thursday and play a little bit on Saturday," Krenzel said. "But right now I'm taking it day by day.

"I threw some tennis balls yesterday and threw 20 or 30 balls on the field today. I felt all right, I didn't feel great. How it feels today is not as important as how I will feel tomorrow when I wake up."

Krenzel was asked if he could have played in last Saturday's game against Bowling Green if needed.

"Probably not," he said. "It was bothering me a lot. It was tight and I had some pain in the elbow. I don't know if I could have thrown the ball effectively."

Krenzel admitted it was hard to watch the Buckeyes take the field without him after making 19 straight starts.

"It was extremely frustrating," he said. "I was back standing on the sideline for an entire game. When you're a younger player, that's your role on the team. But that's not the case any more. That makes it that much harder."

Krenzel watched as fellow fifth-year senior Scott McMullen directed the Buckeyes to the win over BGSU.

"Scotty did a good job," Krenzel said. "They didn't complicate a lot of things in terms of the scheme. He threw the ball around pretty well. He made a nice throw to Drew (Carter) in the end zone.

"For the most part, we looked at their defense and tried to establish the run. When you do that sometimes you take the ball out of the quarterback's hands."

Krenzel said he tried to be an extra set of eyes for McMullen.

"I just tried to be there to help him with some things I was seeing," he said. "A couple of times, I talked about things maybe he didn't see. I tried to help him out as much as possible."

Earlier Tuesday, OSU coach Jim Tressel said a decision on Krenzel's availability should be made after practice on Thursday.

"I don't think I would play this weekend if I wasn't 100 percent," Krenzel said. "The risk isn't worth maybe missing four weeks. If I can sit out one more week and then, with the bye week, I can come back and prepare for Wisconsin (Oct. 11). That would be the best case scenario.

"Any time you are not out there getting experience and keeping that competitive spirit going, you lose that game time feeling," Krenzel said. "That is one reason I would like to play Saturday before we take that week off.

"That way I'm not going to Wisconsin and haven't played in a month."

Krenzel had an MRI exam after the injury. That exam revealed no tear to the ligament or tendon. Because of that, Krenzel said he had no reason to undergo another MRI.

"The MRI last week showed what we hoped to see -- nothing was torn," he said. "We just need to go from there."

Rumors abounded on Tuesday that there had been discussions privately to shut Krenzel down for the year and for him to undergo Tommy John elbow surgery. Krenzel said that has not been discussed, however.

"I don't know who that was that said that," Krenzel said. "At this point, we have not talked about that.

"We're expecting a 100 percent recovery, me, the doctors and the trainers, through rest and treatment. I am fairly confident, barring any turnarounds, that I will definitely be 100 percent by Wisconsin."

Krenzel said the closest thing he has dealt with to this was a separated shoulder that cost him one game as a senior in high school.

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