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August 24, 2010

Hummel returns to court

Robbie Hummel, understandably, has gotten restless these past few months and weeks as he's recovered from the knee injury that prematurely ended his junior season.

"I'm bored," the Boilermaker senior forward said Tuesday. "I don't have anything to do. I'm sick of lifting weights and not being able to play."

So with that said, Monday was a big day for one of the most closely watched players in college basketball.

On Purdue's first day of fall workouts, Hummel participated, with some restrictions. He did some shooting and light agility drills.

"It'll be a good test for me," Hummel said prior to the workout. "I'm excited to get back out here, a little bit nervous but I guess that's part of it."

Hummel has been shooting and doing other light basketball-related activities for weeks now, but he's not yet been cleared to play five-on-five,"but that should be coming in the next few weeks."

His next follow-up with surgeon Dr. Donald Shelbourne is scheduled for next Tuesday, Hummel said.

Even if he couldn't go all-out this Tuesday, just participating in the workout was undoubtedly cathartic for Hummel.

"I just miss being out here with the guys," he said. "When you can't be out there, it's OK to watch, but after a while gets pretty boring.

"I feel good, like I'm almost normal again. I'm excited to get back out here."

And teammates are excited to see him back. With one condition.

"We're eager (to get him back)," point guard Lewis Jackson said, "but I don't care if it takes Rob until two days before the season (to get back). I think everybody here understands the situation. We're eager for him to be here, but we're not eager to see him rush. I don't want him to come back at 60 or 70 percent just to be out here. ... We want him to be 100-percent when he does step back out on the court."

In addition to the physical pain Hummel's endured since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament at Minnesota in February and the stir-craziness that followed, there came the torment of waiting out an injury that often takes athletes a year, sometimes more, to put behind them.

So the challenge for Hummel was not trying to do too much too fast, as to not incur setbacks.

"It definitely was a challenge," Hummel said. "(Trainer Jeff Stein) had to slow me down and Dr. Shelbourne kind of had to, too. It was a challenge, because I'm used to playing basketball year-round.

"I guess I added some new video games into my life."


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