March 27, 2009

Bigger, healthier Ziemba ready for 2009

The 2008 season was supposed to represent left tackle Lee Ziemba's rise into the conference's elite offensive linemen.

Instead, penalties and inconsistencies marred his injury-riddled season.

Ziemba injured his knee on Aug. 4, during the first week of fall camp.

At the time, Ziemba had the option of undergoing surgery that would have, at the very least, cut his season short.

Instead, Ziemba and Auburn decided that he would play through the injury. That played a major role in his 2008 disappointment.

"It kind of got worse as the season went on," Ziemba said. "You could tell. It was tough, but I made through it I guess and I got it fixed up. I didn't have full range of motion in it and impact hurt it pretty good."

He underwent surgery to repair the knee within days of the end of the season.

Ziemba was asked if he regretted choosing against surgery. He was not responsive to the query.

"I'm not going to comment on that," he said.

Despite Ziemba's struggles, he didn't use the knee as an excuse last year.

Still, he said after Thursday's practice that he's finished dwelling on last year.

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