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  01/30/23 - QB Devin LearyrSr/2024, Kentucky

  Former North Carolina State quarterback Devin Leary and former Northern Illinois left tackle Marques Cox, both projected to start for the Wildcats in the fall, expressed optimism about the status of their rehabilitation from injuries that ended their 2022 seasons early in interviews with reporters Wednesday but stopped short of placing a specific timetable for their return to the field. UK Coach Mark Stoops previously said he expected both players to be available for at least part of spring practice but said he was unsure if either would be limited. "Absolutely on schedule," Leary said Wednesday. "I feel really good. Really just taking it day by day and making sure I'm following the doctors' protocols and listening to the trainers in the training room. The strength and conditioning staff just keeping me on pace. But right now I'm in a really good spot."

Leary entered the 2022 season as the preseason ACC Player of the Year and a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate, but his season ended after just six games when he tore the pectoral muscle on his right side in an Oct. 8 game against Florida State. The injury required surgery just more than a month later. The torn pectoral muscle was the second major injury for Leary, who also saw his 2020 season end early due to a fractured fibula. "Honestly, it was just two freak accidents," Leary said. "It can be frustrating, but that's the game we sign up to play. It's a violent sport. At the end of the day, I'm still grateful to be here. Still grateful to be around awesome doctors, awesome trainers to where I'm standing here in front of you today getting ready to play this season. Obviously in the moment it's very unfortunate, but at the same time, I'm a guy that lives by everything happens for a reason. I know I'll bounce back and play better than I ever have before." - Herald Leader

rSr/2024 QB Devin LearyKentucky
News Source: Herald Leader

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