Hawes back to normal?

When news came down that Husky frosh center Spencer Hawes was going to have his right knee scoped, visions of torn tendons and ligaments frightfully danced through the heads of anxious Husky fans. No need to worry, Dawg Packers. Hawes said Thursday that he expects his time off the floor to be short and his recovery even shorter as he maps out his first year at Montlake.

"From everything that I've heard, the surgery went really well," Hawes told the press on Thursday, just one day before 'Husky Hoopla', a celebration of Washington's mens and womens hoop programs. He won't be able to play in it, but he was still very upbeat about the long-term prognosis for his knee. It was best-case scenario. It only took twenty minutes. As of yesterday (Wednesday) I can start running in two weeks. I'm going to start riding the bike tomorrow. It feels great. If I didn't have ice on it, I wouldn't be limping around at all.

"He (Doctor) said running two weeks after yesterday and after a month he would imagine my knee back to 100 percent like it hadn't happened. It feels fine."

So the main question was, why now? Why not earlier? "The piece (in the knee) has been there for a while, but the pain was a lot more recent," Hawes said. "We just decided that it was the best time to address it now before the season. Thankfully everything was successful, so now it's just a matter of moving on from here."

Was he ever concerned that this scope might end up detecting bigger things, possibly putting his first year playing in jeopardy? "I think the whole time, all sides agreed that this was a pretty minor thing, so I was never worried about it," Hawes said. "So now it's a matter of doing my rehab and not rush back into it, but at the same time try to get back as quickly as I can."

Now the biggest issue for Hawes - who recently ran a 5:22 mile - is making sure he continues to stay fit despite not being able to be as active as he would like to be. "That's my biggest concern - losing my wind," he said. "I thought I was in pretty good shape before all this happened. Getting back on the bike will help a lot in terms of keeping my wind up and staying in shape throughout the recovery process."

Missing the first few weeks of practice would normally be a negative thing for a first-year player, but Hawes has been around enough already this summer, so that should help mitigate any short-term loss. "The fact that I've been working with a lot of these guys for so long...I've been coming up to open gyms and I had that three weeks working with coach (Romar) in the summer...I played with Jon (Brockman) in AAU (Friends of Hoop)...I think I've already built up a lot of chemistry with all of them," he said. "I think I should be able to make up for it. And I'm still going to be able to get some practice in before the season starts, so that's going to help too."

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