Astorino Braced for Action

Penn State safety says knee and shoulder issues won't prevent him from being full go for LSU in the Capital One Bowl.

ORLANDO -- Penn State starting safety Drew Astorino's pre-practice routine is a bit more complicated than the one most of his teammates go through.

While other players may have ankles or wrists tapes, Astorino must pull a brace onto his left knee. Then he heads over to the training station, where a graduate assistant helps him into an unwieldy brace for his left shoulder.

Though he has declined to give specifics on the shoulder injury, Astorino has acknowledged that the joint has been giving him problems throughout the season.

But the knee injury did not come to light until he was spotted wearing a cross jersey during an open practice on campus in early December. The cross signified he had not been cleared for contact.

Unfortunately, Astorino was not available to give details on the knee issue until Tuesday, when he spoke to the media following a practice at Freedom High here. The Nittany Lions are preparing for Friday's Capital One Bowl against LSU.

“The last game (of the regular season), I sprained my PCL,” Astorino said, referring to the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. “But I'm good now. I've had a long time to rest. I've been back for two weeks now.”

Well, not quite two weeks. Astorino admitted he did not get back on the field until the Lions arrived in Daytona Beach Dec. 20. Prior to that, he had been rehabbing the knee twice a day.

As for the shoulder, he continues to be vague.

“The shoulder is not really a factor,” he said. “We have one game left. We're going to check it out after that. So it's not even a factor.”

If the knee and the shoulder are bothering Astorino, he is much more uncomfortable when having to deal with questions about the injuries.

Asked where he is in terms of being prepared to face the Tigers, Astorino said, “I'm good. I'm ready to go, for sure.”

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