October 30, 2007

Insider: O'Dowd's defiant return

Kristofer O'Dowd returned to practice Thursday for the first time in a month and defiantly declared his readiness to return this week against Oregon State.

"I haven't gotten out of the flow of things," the true freshman said. "It's not like I gave up after my injury."

O'Dowd started the first four games at center, after senior Matt Spanos tore his right triceps. But the freshman dislocated his right kneecap in the first half at Washington, Sept. 29, and has been out since.

He repeatedly stated Tuesday that the knee is "good enough" for him to return. O'Dowd worked at center, left guard and left tackle against the scout-team defense.

"I'm ready," he said. "I'm definitely ready to go out and play. I just have to take advantage of all the opportunities I can right now to get back on the field."

Spanos also worked at left tackle, where All-American Sam Baker appears to be out for at least a week. Freshman Butch Lewis, who started for Baker at Notre Dame and replaced him in the second half last week at Oregon, is in line to start there.

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