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Louisville and Brian Brohm on the mend
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Louisville and Brian Brohm on the mend
Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Brohm closer to throwing
Hopes to do so next week, return for Cincinnati game
By Brian Bennett
The Courier-Journal

University of Louisville junior quarterback Brian Brohm had the cast removed from his injured right thumb yesterday, and the Cardinals hope that he will begin throwing a football again early next week.

Brohm, who tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb during U of L's Sept. 16 victory over Miami, will not be available for Friday's game against Middle Tennessee State (3-2) in Nashville. But if things go well, he could be ready to play the following week when the No. 8 Cardinals (4-0) host Cincinnati.

"That's his goal," said Oscar Brohm, Brian's father.

Doctors replaced the cast yesterday with a small splint that allows him to move his wrist. He walked out of practice carrying a green foam ball that he's been squeezing and tossing around to build strength in his thumb.

Coach Bobby Petrino held out hope yesterday morning that Brohm would throw in the afternoon. But team doctors decided to take a more cautious approach.

Brohm will attempt to handle his first snaps from center next Tuesday, and the team will have a better idea then about his timetable. Petrino hopes that Brohm can appear in a game before the Nov. 2 showdown against No. 4 West Virginia

"I know he's antsy, and he's always beaten every timetable doctors have ever given him," Petrino said.

He added that Brohm would play "when the doctors say he can throw the football back to 100 percent. That's the key: when the doctors say it's stable and good to go and he's able to grip the ball and throw it the way he can."

In the meantime, Brohm has been doing a lot of running during practice, and Petrino said the team's strength and conditioning coaches are impressed with the way he's moving around on his surgically repaired right knee.

"Brian told me he ran one of his fastest 40 (-yard dash) times ever," Oscar Brohm said, "so the knee must be feeling pretty good."

Several other players are on the mend as well. Cornerback Rod Council, who broke his left ankle, is expected to return against Middle Tennessee State. Defensive end Jonathan Holston, who hasn't played since breaking his right fibula in fall practice, also could play, although Petrino said he didn't know if Holston would be 100 percent. Defensive tackle Adrian Grady, who broke his right fibula in the opener against Kentucky, is practicing but will more likely return against Cincinnati, Petrino said.

Last week's off week gave the injured players a chance to heal and gave the coaches a chance to go back over the basics. Petrino and his assistants spent most of their time re-teaching fundamentals and techniques to get the players re-focused for the rest of the season.

"What we basically talked about was going back to camp," he said.

The Cards also strived to improve their tempo, which Petrino thought was lacking during their 24-6 victory at Kansas State on Sept. 23. The players took too long to get in and out of the huddle and spent too much time at the line of scrimmage waiting on quarterback Hunter Cantwell's calls, Petrino said. That contributed to U of L's lowest point total of the season.

The offense will look for a better showing against Middle Tennessee State, which ranks 11th in NCAA Division I-A in total defense and second in tackles for loss.

Kickoff time for the Oct. 14 homecoming game against Cincinnati has been set for 3:30 p.m. The contest will be televised live on ESPNU.

Brian Bennett can be reached at (502) 582-7177.

10-03-2006 10:02 AM
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