August 6, 2010

Injured trio healed and ready to play

Every college football player will experience ups and downs in the course of a season. But for Marvin Foster, there weren't many ups in 2009.

"Too long," Foster says of his first year at Missouri. "It just sucks being on the sidelines all the time."

Two weeks into fall camp last year, Foster tore ligaments his knee. After battling back from that injury, he tore a pectoral muscle lifting weights.

He is finally healthy for the first time in a full year and in the mix at a defensive tackle spot that looks to have some playing time available for the Tigers.

Two other Tigers that spent most of last season on the sideline or in the trainer's room most certainly are thinking about playing time. Luke Lambert missed most of last year after having shoulder surgery. Will Ebner started in Lambert's place. But this fall, the Brookfield product is back on the field and looking to re-assert himself as the Tigers' middle linebacker.

"I expect us to compete every day," said the senior captain. "That's the only way we can get better. If we come out and fight every day, we'll be a better team."

The third of the healing trio is sophomore wide receiver T.J. Moe. Moe battled a foot injury in fall camp and was never at full-speed during practices. In fact, he wasn't at full speed all season, though he did play, catching two passes for eight yards.

"I never got any rest coming through the season and I never had any time to heal. I was just trying to work through it. I was doing all the extra stuff to try to get better so I didn't have time to heal. But during bowl practices I started to feel better and then this summer I started to feel a lot better," Moe said. "I'm feeling pretty good. I quit trying to decide if I was back to normal or not. I just decide if I'm getting better."

Moe could push for a starting job in the receiving corps and also hopes to be the Tigers' punt returner. Pinkel is just happy to finally get a chance to see the player he recruited two years ago out of Fort Zumwalt West.

"T.J.'s a guy that played quarterback in high school and he comes out here and he's a little bit of a fish out of water," said the Missouri coach. "You're out in space, you're doing all this stuff and I think what happens is you see guys like that, he looks like a receiver now. He's got great potential. We know his athleticism, his quickness, he's smart. It'll be fun to see how he matures."

And finally, Moe, Lambert and Foster get to have a little fun themselves.

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