First Look: Michael Bush

Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush, who had a second surgery performed on his leg this off-season, believed he was worth a draft day gamble...

After spending the majority of his time since the end of the 2006 season in Arizona, former University of Louisville running back Michael Bush returned to home and had a second surgery on his leg. The purpose of the surgery was to place a new rod in his leg to speed up the recovery process.

While any surgery is sure raise concerns, Bush's surgery was something that trainers at the NFL Combine recommended and it's viewed as a positive in his full recovery.

"I found out about my leg needing another surgery at the combine," Bush said. "The orthopedic doctors there from other teams were telling me that I needed to have the rod in."

"It's not a setback at all," said Bush, who visited doctors both in Louisville and Atlanta. "Basically, if I didn't put it in and it didn't heal then I'd be wasting time, so it's good that I did put in and know for sure that I'll heal in two months."

The former Louisville Male standout, who weighed in at 238-pounds on Monday, hopes to be near full strength by the start of Oakland's training camps this summer.

"I don't want to force the issue," said Bush. "I'm going to take it a day at a time like I have been doing for awhile. I've been out six months, so two more won't kill me. They said July, so I'll take their word for it. I feel good right now."

In 2003, the Buffalo Bills took a chance on an injured college star when they drafted former Miami running back Willis McGahee in the first round. Still recovering from a devastating knee injury, McGahee missed his entire rookie season before becoming the Bills permanent starting back in early 2004.

Unable to participate in Louisville's Pro-Day or have any individual workouts prior to the NFL Draft on April 28-29, Bush hoped that NFL owners and general managers would view him as an investment for the future, much like the Bills did with McGahee in 2003.

"I think it's a future investment, just like they took a chance on Willis McGahee," said Bush. "He opened up the doors for a lot of people that come out in the draft and get injured. It's a gamble, but in my mind it's a good gamble."

The Raiders pounced on him with the first pick of the fourth-round - and several teams had inquired about trading up to take the talented, but injured back. Oakland saw an opportunity - much like Bush sees once he is fully recovered. A fourth-round pick on Michael Bush could end up being a selection that helps define the franchise.

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