Injured Cougs right on schedule for return

<b>WITH SPRING BALL less than five weeks away out on the Palouse, the Washington State football program is getting very good news from the training room. Every Cougar who is recovering from a significant injury this offseason, including quarterback Josh Swogger and linebacker Will Derting, are proceeding right on schedule. Some will participate during the spring sessions but everyone is expected back at 100 percent for the season opener.

Bill Drake, director of WSU Athletic Training Services, had good news for the Cougar Nation today.

QB Josh Swogger - (broken foot)
Drake described the 6-5, 238-pound quarterback's rehab as on schedule. Swogger has been cleared for three-step drops and is throwing. Swogger has not been given the go-ahead to begin cardio work as of yet, which of course limits his participation in voluntary workouts. He will likely be held out of full participation in the spring sessions due to the ongoing rehab but the starting quarterback is expected to make a complete recovery well before the start of fall camp.

Swogger was named the starting quarterback by coach Bill Doba earlier this month.

WR Chris Jordan - (knee)
Drake reports that Jordan is off crutches and about nine weeks post-surgery. The 6-1, 205-pound wide receiver had arthroscopic surgery to clean up a few rough spots on the same knee he injured during the 2003 Apple Cup, when he tore the ACL. Jordan is on schedule and the training staff is looking at a mid-June return to action.

Jordan, slowed by the surgically repaired knee and a hip flexor this season, missed three games in 2004 but was still the second leading receiver for the Cougs with 356 yards. Jordan's best game of the year was against Oregon with five catches for 128 yards.

LB Will Derting - (wrist)
Drake said that Derting had his cast taken off two weeks ago and the trainers report his rehab is on schedule. It is still up in the air how much the linebacker will participate in Spring practice but that decision is not based completely on his injury/rehab status. The coaches don't see the need to put the wear and tear of 15 practices on his body coming off post-season surgery for the dislocated wrist. They know what he can do.

The situation is reminiscent of last spring. Derting was playing the middle linebacker spot for the first time and on Day Nine, Doba told linebackers coach Leon Burtnett that the 'backer was at the point where they didn't need to see him scrimmage any longer, other than thud action.

DE Matt Mullennix - (knee, MCL, ACL)
Drake terms the 6-5, 250-pound defensive end on schedule but not surprisingly, Mullennix will probably not be cleared for Spring practice. If he was to be cleared, it would likely only be for non-contact drills. The training staff will examine the issue as he progresses over the next five weeks.

Despite being hampered by a hip flexor all summer, Mullennix displayed a great motor, becoming an integral part of the of the Cougars' d-line rotation before going down in practice in Week 5. His last game against Arizona, he put together a solid effort and very well may have seen increased playing time over the course of the season.

"A lot of guys would not play through what Matt did this summer," said defensive coordinator Robb Akey at the beginning of the '04 campaign. "He's just plain tough."

DT Colin Donovan - (knee, MCL sprain)
Drake reports that the RS freshman-to-be has recovered from his MCL sprain.

Donovan is currently participating in voluntary workouts and the 6-7, 260-pound defensive tackle will participate in the spring session.

DE Jason Roberts was 100 percent by the end of last season, coming off a knee sprain that kept him our of action for a few weeks. The redshirt freshman-to-be is currently participating in voluntary workouts.

The 6-4, 225-pound defensive end will be ready to roll this spring.

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