April 14, 2012

Lathers rounding into form

With depth a substantial issue at linebacker for Tennessee this spring the importance of Herman Lathers' healthy return to active duty is more important than it might otherwise have been. The senior has worked hard to battle back from a broken ankle that cost him all of last season, and on Saturday he showed some of the most convincing signs yet that he was on his way back to where the Vols need him to be.

Derek Dooley was happy to see Lathers showing up on the field of play, but perhaps even more pleased that he's starting to accept the fact that he's getting close to full speed.

"Herman's doing great, man. He's flying around and he's not giving me the, 'Well, I'm 80 percent, 85 percent.' We're 100 percent, and I think that's helping him get over the hump mentally," Dooley said of the path back that Lathers is walking. "When you've had as many injuries as he has, the first sign of pain, it probably makes you a little nervous. He's working through it, and he's really playing good football for us."

A groin pull in the first week of practice has slowed Lathers down some in the last couple of weeks, but as far as the ankle goes, he feels like he's getting back to where he needs to be.

"The ankle feels a lot better. I feel like I'm playing like I used to. My rehab is going good right now," Lathers offered.

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