October 21, 2007

The Injured Return

NOTRE DAME, IND. -- Rey Maualuga was in so much pain he insisted he had a torn a muscle near his hip. Doctors may have called it a hip pointer, but they do not know his body the way he does, he said.

After the MRI did, in fact, reveal a hip pointer - with severe swelling - Maualuga tried to practice. He could not run without pain and participated in only two workouts during the week, on a limited basis.

But when Saturday afternoon arrived in Notre Dame Stadium, Maualuga's adrenaline kicked in, along with the numbing injection he received directly into the inflamed area.

He went to Pete Carroll and said, "When you need me, let me know, and I'll go out there and do the best I can."

Maualuga, the team's No. 1 middle linebacker, did not start, but he played a good portion of the game, finishing with two sacks.

"I actually did better than I thought I was going to do," he said. "I felt good with what I did today. Just got to get some therapy and get ready for next week."

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