The news continues to encouraging for linebacker Jaylon Smith, who suffered a brutal knee injury in Notre Dame's loss to Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.
Although Smith's surgeon believes it would be best for the draft prospect to miss the 2016 NFL season, he is confident Smith will make a full recovery. And with the draft less than a week away, Smith amazingly already is taking part in some football drills just 3½ months after the surgery.
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Dr. Dan Cooper, who repaired the ACL in Smith's left knee, told USA Today that the biggest issue is the peroneal nerve. Because of the damage done to that nerve, Smith cannot raise or swing his left foot and needs to wear a special device on the foot while working out. However, that most likely is a temporary condition.
"He's had time for his nerve to regrow 2 inches, and the area of where his nerve was injured is 6 inches above the muscle that it innervates," Cooper said. "I wouldn't really expect him to get much innervation back into that muscle for two or three more months. Then once it does -- I've seen kids who are completely paralyzed like him on the lateral side and not able to pick their foot up at all (that) wind up being totally normal."
Smith isn't going to rush things and is prepared to sit out his first season in the NFL.
"I want to play. Absolutely, I want to play. I'm a competitor. (But) if I'm not 100 percent, I won't be playing. That does my career no justice," he told USA Today.