MADISON, Wis. (AP) Wisconsin running back Corey Clement has returned to practice but isn't participating at full speed three weeks after the team announced he needed sports hernia surgery.
Still, Badgers coach Paul Chryst said before practice on Thursday that Clement was day to day, and would not rule him out for Saturday's homecoming game against Purdue.
Chryst said that Clement was rehabbing his body and ''the confidence as well.''
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Starting center Dan Voltz, who suffered an arm injury in the final moments of last Saturday's 23-21 victory over Nebraska has participated in drills and could be ready for the Boilermakers.
But running back Taiwan Deal, who missed most of the game with a high ankle sprain, appears doubtful for the Badgers (4-2, 1-1).
Dare Ogunbowale and freshman Alec Ingold would be the top two tailbacks assuming that Clement and Deal are sidelined.
Clement was expected to ascend to the starring role in the offense after backing up Heisman Trophy runner-up Melvin Gordon last season. But Clement got hurt in practice leading up to the season opener against Alabama on Sept. 5.
After trying to practice through what was initially thought to be a sore groin, Clement gave more details to medical staff about his injury more than two weeks later. The team announced he would have surgery on Sept. 24.
Chryst said having the operation would take away any doubt of Clement aggravating the injury after returning.
''You know when it's time, they'll kind of let you know by the way they're running and their approach,'' Chryst said Thursday. ''He would not be cleared if he wasn't medically good. As he goes we'll get a feel and it will be a group decision. It has to be.''
Wisconsin's traditionally strong rushing attack has been inconsistent this year because of injuries to Clement, as well as along the offensive line.
AP college football site: http://collegefootball.ap.org/