Konz Building Ankle Strength

The strength in his ankle is quickly improving and he's convinced he'll be participating in the 98th Rose Bowl, but junior center Peter Konz wants to be on the safe side and will get a second opinion on his injured left ankle Thursday morning in North Carolina.

MADISON - For the first time since watching his team win the inaugural Big Ten Championship game, junior center Peter Konz addressed the media, and was adamant that he was planning on playing in the 98th Rose Bowl against No.6 Oregon January 2.

Konz missed UW's final three games after suffering a dislocated left ankle Nov. 12 at Minnesota, resulting in sophomores Ryan Groy and Travis Frederick taking the lead down the stretch. If he has his way, he'll take over the reins once again.

After Tuesday's practice, Konz, who was celebrating his 22nd birthday, addressed reporters about his ankle, his rehab and his thoughts on playing in another Rose Bowl.

You are leaving town to get a second opinion on the ankle. Can you explain what you are looking for and what the doctors are looking for?

Konz: Just making sure that I am doing everything I can; getting a second opinion, just getting another option, someone who is specialists. Obviously he is going to have some different ideas and I just want to make sure I am not hurting more than I need to, that we are being smart with it, we're being wise. When we fly down, we are just going to ask a lot of questions. How I can get back faster? What the plan of action should be from here? How do I prevent (ankle sprains)? That's going to be the really big question. He should have some pretty good methods for a guy like me who has ankle problems.

(Editor's Note: Konz missed two entire games and parts of two others last season after suffering ankle injuries).

Who are you going to see?

Konz: Dr. Robert Anderson. I've heard he's one of the best. In Charlotte, North Carolina.

Are you concerned that you might not be able to go in Pasadena?

Konz: I am not concerned. Right now, we are making a lot of progress. I am actually pushing a lot more weight than I have. (Tuesday) was a big day for me as far as pushing weight (and) going against guys. I didn't do a lot of practice as far as a lot of scout reps because we don't hurt it more. That's a lot of stress we'd be putting on the ankle, a lot of reps. I did go against the sled, got a high tempo and I'm doing three (45 pound) plates on each side. I am pushing a lot of weight.

Are you behind of where you originally thought you'd be at this point because you were pretty optimistic?

Konz:I guess because I was really optimistic. I didn't really know. I've had high ankle sprains, but this was a full dislocation. (The bone) was out for about two hours, so I didn't know what to expect. I am actually pretty pleased from what I have been hearing for how long these usually take. I am ahead of schedule as far as dislocations go.

If I hadn't been on the field this week, I would be questioning myself pretty good but because every day we are doing a little more, that just gives me hope.

You said ‘we' are going down. Who else is going with you?

Konz:One of the team trainers. Just escorting me (laughing). We're going to fly (Wednesday) night after one of my finals, wake up, 7:30 a.m. is like my appointment and then we are going to fly right back. It's a business trip (laughing). Luckily, no practice on Thursday so it won't disrupt anything there.

When do you think you will practice?

Konz:I will practice in Pasadena for sure. I have been practicing here. I just haven't been talking the bulk of the reps.

Is it your goal to try to get back in the starting lineup for the game?

Konz:Try to get back in the starting lineup? Of course. That's everybody's goal. I am trying to get as healthy as I can so I can play as physical as I can. Right now, I am getting down the mental part as far as film, as far as watching guys take their reps, just know what I am supposed to do and just working on the physical aspect.

Do you ever fear about your NFL future? Do you have more to gain by playing in the Rose Bowl?

Konz:I guess I just look at it as I've got more to gain by being healthy. I need to be healthy to play my best football. As far as NFL or coming back, I just need to be healthy.

How impressed have you been with Travis Frederick's ability to stand in there and play two positions in the same game (at Illinois)?

Konz:Travis is a real smart guy. I have no doubt that he could do it from the beginning. His footwork and everything he does is just phenomenal. He's really strong. Obviously, you hear he has a 700 pound squat max. He can do it all. There's no doubt in my mind when I down, he was going to fill.

What's your max squat?

Konz:More around the 500 range, 550 (laughing).

Travis is a double major and everything …

Konz:Engineering is easy though. It's like math. Math is pretty simple. Use this equation, plug it in … there's no subjectivity. Let's say Homer and Plato. There's some subjectivity there. There's some real genius. He's listening to the Pythagorean (theorem). Please (laughing).

Have you done the same conditioning work as the other players?

Konz: I've been doing my own conditioning. I've been getting on bikes. Pushing the sled is my conditioning workout. It's rapid pace. In our rapid drill, we do 30 plays in 10 minutes. Well, I did 25 reps of pushing the sled in five minutes. Sometimes I'll go in the pool if I want to take a little stress off. It strengths and stretches the ankle a little bit, so it feels pretty good, too.

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