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Dick Harmon: BYU football: Faith, hard work boost quarterback Taysom Hill's recovery from injury

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 21 2012 10:00 a.m. MST

Explains Hurst, "So, they were able to reattach that hamstring to the bone. They did not have to do any reconstruction of any of the ligaments, they didn't have to do any significant structural reattaching or repair of any ligaments in his knee. It became an issue of re-attaching the muscle to the bone.

"They were able to reattach the biceps tendons back to where they normally live and we felt very blessed to have a great result and that outcome. Now, he needs to regain range of motion and strength in the muscles of that leg to recover."

This is significantly different than the damage originally diagnosed that fateful weekend. Hill's recovery is expected to be 50 percent quicker than originally diagnosed. Major ACL surgery takes eight to 10 months to recover; Hill's injury is half that, in the four to five month range with five months pushing it. Five months from early October 2012 is early March 2013, in line with BYU's spring practice, which usually gets under way by mid-March.

Essentially, said Hurst, if everything goes as planned, and it appears Hill is ahead of schedule, a best case scenario is that Hill will be able to participate in spring football, albeit with limited restrictions including no contact.

"He's undergoing physical therapy right now and doing great," said Hurst. "He's improving his range of motion every day. He's working hard as I knew he would because Taysom is a great kid. He's feeling excited for the opportunity and looking forward to playing football again.

"I saw him Monday for the first time without crutches. We kind of joked with each other. I said, 'Man, you look like you're ready to go,' and he replied, "Put me in there, I'm ready to go."

Hill was carrying around a football in practice Monday. "He just had a smile on his face, advancing in his recovery, with no crutches; he was weight bearing, being able to ambulate on his own with a brace, and that's a lot better walking instead of having to crutch around and be limited that way – especially for a kid like Taysom."

Hurst said Hill's range of motion is getting back and he's able to get a little quad (muscle) definition back in his leg. "It's exciting to see that progress and change because he was initially so down. To see the progress in his rehab has brightened his hope that things are going so well."

The trainer said he does not have a crystal ball and cannot predict when Hill can again run like the old Taysom Hill.

"It's one of those things where you take one day at a time with short-term and long-term goals. Our long-term goal is to get Taysom back 110 percent and have him back strong again. If everything goes well, we hope to have him back for some aspects of spring drills, barring any setbacks in his rehabilitation process."

Hurst is Hill's hands-on healer and in charge of his rehabilitation.

"There is no pre-determined date. As he is able to do this, we move him to do that, and it progresses that way. We push the envelope, but we don't push the envelope to where it sets everything back."

In all this, one thing is certain to Hurst.

From where Hill was the night of the injury, and the next day with the MRI, to what he found in surgery and then today, as he now walks around under his own power with a knee brace, this talented athlete has much to be thankful for after a horrendous and unfortunate situation.

"As a believer and a man of faith," said Hurst, "I believe divine providence has had a hand in his situation, he's been blessed and he is a young man who trusts and believes things will turn out well. He's been greatly blessed in his prayers to have things turn out the way they have to this date in time."

And to that, on this day of Thanksgiving, I say, Amen.

email: dharmon@desnews.com; twitter: harmonwrites

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