BLACKSBURG – Normally, Antone Exum is not at a loss for words, but the redshirt senior was clearly disappointed after arriving back in Blacksburg following a visit with Dr. James Andrews, the noted orthopaedic surgeon who operated on Exum’s torn ACL.
Andrews delivered bad news, telling Exum that he had a ways to go before being ready to play. He wants to see Exum again in two months, meaning Exum will miss the season opener against Alabama and other games as well.
“I definitely wanted to play,” Exum said. “I don’t know if I thought it would be two months. That’s not just the first game. That’s a couple of games.”
Exum had tried to temper his own expectations during the offseason, even though his knee felt pretty good – and still does. His goal was to return for the Alabama game, but he knew that might not be completely realistic. Now, he may miss as many as four games.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Exum said of his visit with Andrews. “I haven’t had an injury like this before, so I don’t really know the timetable on things. I wasn’t completely 100 percent sure where I was at. I was just waiting on their feedback.
“It’s basically strength and power [with his knee]. We did little tests and stuff to see where I’m at. Some of them I did well, and some, I need to get better. It’s just a matter of continuing to get better.
“Basically, he said I had two more months to go and they would re-test to see if I’m ready to go then.”
“I don’t know,” he said. “I’m just going to work as hard as I can until the re-testing date.”
The re-testing date hasn’t been set yet.
Exum attended Wednesday afternoon meetings with his teammates and will be at Wednesday evening’s practice. He’ll do individual drills with the defensive backs, but will be rehabbing on his own with the sports medicine staff during the team periods.
Still, even getting back on the field isn’t enough to make up for his disappointment.
“It’s exciting to be out here with the guys again and being able to put a helmet on,” he said. “Obviously, I’m kind of down about not being able to participate with the team and knowing that I won’t be playing.”
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