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ASU — surprise, surprise — is getting healthy

This season the news has been mostly bad for ASU on the
injury front, but that may be changing soon.

The pendulum, it appears, is slowly swinging towards good
news for the Sun Devils.

“Yeah, finally,” said head coach Dennis Erickson. “It’s
been awhile.”

For starters, defensive end Junior Onyeali (knee) is
expected to return following the bye week. “Yeah, without
a doubt he’ll play” against Colorado, according to
Erickson.

And left tackle Evan Finkenberg (knee)? “He’ll be back
for sure against UCLA,” stated Erickson.

That’s two big pieces — one on offense and one on defense
— that Erickson will be able to plug back in over the
team’s next two games.

But might there be an even larger piece getting ready to
return to action, say an All-Conference defensive back?

“We’re just working him in,” Erickson explained when asked
about Omar Bolden, who spent a portion of Monday’s
practice in pads. Bolden is just over six months removed
from tearing his ACL.

“He did some individual stuff, did some skeleton (7-on-7)
stuff,” continued Erickson. “Just kind of see how his knee
feels when he gets done with this [practice]. To me, it’s
about whether it’s healed obviously; but it’s about a
mental thing too, which is getting confidence in your
knee.”

Bolden, a senior, remains a long shot at returning this
season but the bye week gives him and the team some time
to see where he is at with his recovery.

The off-week also allows players, like Cameron Marshall
(ankle), time to rest and get healthy.

“If we give him this week off,” said Erickson, “I think
he’s has a chance to come back and be pretty close to 100-
percent, which is a real key to our running game.”

Resting key players and limiting the reps of others is the
main focus for Erickson this week.

“If [the bye week] was earlier you would probably do more
things; but right now, we’ve played seven games so we’re
just trying to get healthy, get ready to go.”

“We’ve been pretty much going at it since August 1,” said
quarterback Brock Osweiler. “This is the first
significant break that we’ve had so we’re using it to kind
of re-fresh the mind and get the body healthy.”


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