As UW camp opened this week, one of the big questions concerned the health of defensive ends Kalani Aldrich and Everrette Thompson.
The first half of that duo, however, said after Tuesday’s practice it’s not an issue.
“I’m good, I’m ready to go,” said Aldrich, who had knee surgery late last season, then sat out the spring to rehab.
In the first two days, however, Aldrich has done only individual drills as the team eases him back into action. His workload (as well as that of Thompson) is expected to increase gradually as camp progresses.
“They are taking it slow,” Aldrich said. “They don’t want to do anyting too fast. I understand it. I’m not mad about it. They are just giving me time and easing me back in and I’m just doing drills and pass rush right now and nothing with the team. But I feel good.”
As the picture to the right (taken by John Lok) illustrates, Aldrich had a few good moments last season, playing well in reserve in the opener against LSU to earn a start the next week against Idaho.
But Aldrich said he first tweaked his knee that week in practice, the beginning of gradual problems with his left knee that eventualloy ended his season early.
“I felt good against LSU and then after that it just didn’t feel so hot,” he said. “Even against Oregon (when he had three tackles and half a sack) it was like ‘I don’t know I did okay, but I just didn’t feel too good. But now it feels better than it did before the surgery so I feel good.”
Aldrich said the surgery was essentially to repair cartilage damage — he said it was the first time he had ever suffered a knee injury. “They moved some ligaments and moved the bone over a little bit so it wouldn’t be on that side any more and they just padded it up,” he said. “It feels great.”
He had the surgery the week after the Oregon State game, officially making five tackles in seven games last season.
Aldrich, a native of Hilo, Hawaii, is an imposing presence at 6-7, 250 pounds and if he and Thompson can return healthy, the Huskies will have that many more options on the defensive line. Aldrich said he’s heard the talk about the depth issues up front but thinks that soon, it won’t be a real question.
“He (Thompson) looks good, I feel good,” he said. “We were just working out in the summer, trying to get our bodies right. But I feel like we are on track.”
August 11, 2010 at 2:21 PM
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