CATCHINGS: An earlier return now forecast

CORVALLIS -- Sometimes in the world of medicine, things change. After medical tests earlier this week showed Darrell Catchings' broken wrist would require surgery, which would shutter his '09 season, Mike Riley said after practice today that additional tests instead determined not having surgery was a viable option, and that Catchings could return in time for Week 2 vs. UNLV.

And so it looks like junior wideout Darrell Catchings will not miss the entire season after all.

"We probably should not jump the gun, but he is not going to have surgery," said Riley. He was re-checked today, and the best way for me to explain it, because I cannot get technical (privacy issues), is that he basically does not have a fracture.

"It was an old fracture that healed that they initially saw in an x-ray. So now we are talking about whether he can rehab all the other stuff in there. There is further damage, and can that rehab fast enough to give him a great chance to play this year. So I would guess, best case scenario he will be ready by the second game or something."

Although this too is just an initial estimate on length of time Catchings will be sidelined, it is certainly good news for Beaver fans -- OSU was still expected to field a dynamic offense when it was thought Catchings would miss the season. His potential return, and as early as Week 2, means the Beavs could well be just that much more productive.

We'll have more from the day's events in Corvallis in our full report later on.

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