Hunter’s recovery hits a snag

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With the freshman class on campus and the football team starting voluntary workouts and summer school, the team is now in the hands of strength coach Paul Longo and medical trainer Rob Hunt.

That’s good news for an important recruiting class that will likely have a few early contributors come September. One athlete who doesn’t look like he’ll be ready to compete is wide receiver Torii Hunter Jr. The Texas native, who was drafted last week by the Detroit Tigers in the 36th round of the Major League Baseball draft, suffered a setback in his recovery from a broken femur.

The injury occurred at the US Army All-American game in early January, when Hunter’s leg broke in a non-contact drill. With a recovery time that was expected to take six months, the South Bend Tribune’s Tyler James caught up with Hunter, who said his femur isn’t healing properly.

This from James:

The hiccup in his recovery put a damper in his final month before heading to Notre Dame. Hunter had been regaining strength in the muscles above his knee, but was told to ease up the intensity level as the rest of the bone heals.

Hunter called the news depressing, but has tried to stay positive.

“I’ve been trying to keep the leg strong, doing my upper-body workouts and trying to stay in shape on the bike,” Hunter said. “There’s only so much you can do.”

His doctors at home haven’t given him a timeline of when the bone will be ready for increased exercise.

“They have no idea,” Hunter said. “It was supposed to be healed, but I don’t know. It’s just not.”

The January injury already had many expecting that 2013 would be a redshirt season for Hunter, but this type of news isn’t something you want to hear after six months of recovery — with an undetermined time line a scary ordeal for a young guy who has worked hard to get healthy.

In April, video surfaced of Hunter training, and Hunter said he was pain free. Working in concert with his doctors and the Notre Dame medical staff, Hunter’s summer will likely consist of rest and recovery now, waiting for his bone to heal properly.