Murray Set to Return

It looks like the Sooners will have the 1-2 punch of DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown 100 percent ready to go by the time Fall camp breaks. With less than a month to go before opening kick-off how healthy does Murray feel?

The past two seasons have not ended the way that DeMarco Murray would have liked.

Two years ago he went down with a knee injury on a kick return against Texas Tech and last season it happened to him again on a chance blow on a kick return against Missouri in the Big 12 Championship game.

He suffered another set back in his recovery in the off-season when he pulled a hamstring muscle, but it looks as though he will be ready to go well before the BYU game.

"Scott Anderson (OU trainer) feels he's doing great and fully expects him to be released two weeks prior to our first game," confirmed OU head coach Bob Stoops at his Media Day press conference.

Murray feels like he is on his way, but still does not feel quite near 100 percent at this juncture.

"I am about 70-80 percent," Murray explained. "I pulled my hamstring a couple of weeks ago, so I am trying to take it slow and trying to feel comfortable. I am not trying to rush it like I did last year. They know what I can do. I am just going to take my time and take as long as I can to recover and let this thing heal."

"I could probably come back next week, but they just want to rest me and not rush it and obviously for myself that is a plus, because I do not want to get back on the field and have something else happen. I think that is plenty of time, two weeks, is plenty of time."

It was hard for Murray to watch his teammates fall to Florida in the National title game, but he feels he made the right decision when opted for the knee surgery that sidelined him for that game, but will almost certainly allow him to go through the entire '09 campaign.

"It hurt, but it was a decision that I had to make," Murray stated. "It was best for the team. Having surgery is what was best for the team and I was not trying to go out there and play at less than 100 percent. I think that Chris Brown did a good job as well as Mossis (Madu), so it was good."

The time off allowed Murray to get in some work on his upper body in the weight room and because of that he will be entering the season in what appears to be his best shape ever from a physical standpoint.

"Definitely," Murray responded when asked if he put in extra work in conditioning. "I got my weight up to where it needs to be. I did a lot of body fat testing and it (body fat) is down to where it needs to be. I did a lot of bench pressing and stuff like that and I improved dramatically in all of the testing in the weight room. I am where I need to be and where and I want to be."

Coming in to the season the offensive line is one of the big question marks and Murray has been able to sit back and observe how they are progressing as a unit.

"They are progressing good," Murray said. "There are still a lot of wrinkles they need to keep up with. They are still young and it is the first year for a lot of them besides Trent (Williams) and Brian Simmons. So only practices will tell, but I think they will be fine."

"They are going against one if not the best defensive lines in the country and as long as they are going against each other every day they are only going to get better and pick up the tempo and continue to play hard and that is all you can ask for."

One thing may definitely change for Murray in '09 and considering the breaks that may be a good thing. It does not appear that he will be getting back in to the return game anytime soon, however he would not rule it completely out.

"I have talked to Coach Gundy about that and I don't think I am going to do it this year, but I may get the urge in a game and want that," Murray acknowledged.

As a sophomore in 2008 Murray rushed for 1,038 yards and 14 scores and added an additional 395 yards and four scores in receptions to earn All- Big 12 honors. Throw in his return yardage and he set OU single-season record for all-purpose yards with 2,171 total yards.

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