UM football

Injured Miami Hurricanes quarterback Ryan Williams wants to play in season opener

Miami's Ryan Williams sets up to pass in the second quarter during the University of Miami vs Savannah State football game at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, September 21, 2013.
Miami's Ryan Williams sets up to pass in the second quarter during the University of Miami vs Savannah State football game at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday, September 21, 2013.
Al Diaz / Miami Herald Staff

Hurricanes quarterback Ryan Williams said Thursday he has had no setbacks in his recovery from reconstructive right knee surgery on April 9 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and he’s still hoping to be Miami’s starting quarterback on Labor Day night against Louisville.

“I feel pretty good, pretty confident in my rehab so far,” Williams said Thursday during a series of one-on-one interviews with UM beat reporters.

“I feel like where I’m supposed to be, is where I’m at. No setbacks yet.

“As long as I’m not going to go out there and re-injure myself and the doctor feels confident I can play in Week 1, I will play. But if I can’t, if he wants me to hold off a couple weeks, then I will.”

Williams said he has been doing leg press exercises, squats and lunges during his rehab and expects to begin jogging and running in a few weeks. Then, he says, he will progress to performing cuts with his knee — the final hurdle.

“I’m just getting my strength back and my range of motion and putting weight on it, getting movement so I can start running around on it,” he said.

Williams said Dr. Lee Kaplan, who performed the surgery, has remained positive throughout the process that he can get Williams back on the field quickly.

Williams said the fact other athletes have made quick recoveries from ACL injuries of gives him hope he will be back at some point during fall camp. UM begins camp on Aug. 5 — the same day Williams’ wife, Deana, is due to deliver the couple’s first child, a boy.

Williams said UM trainer Vinny Scavo reached out to trainers at LSU and the Minnesota Vikings to gather information on fast recoveries made by former Tigers quarterback Zach Mettenberger and All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson. Mettenberger and participated in his pro day only 13 weeks after surgery. Peterson returned in four months.

“It gives me something to go after knowing if I can work as hard as they did I can be successful,” Williams said. “Adrian Peterson had a great year after his surgery. He didn’t play with a brace. Luckily I don’t have to run around like he did or get hit as much as he did. It definitely gives me confidence in my knee and my ability to come back after the injury.”

Williams said the fact he didn’t have a lot of swelling in his knee allowed for Kaplan to do the surgery quickly, and thus the recovery process got started faster. He said it took him about a week and a half to get off crutches. He has been rehabbing since.

“In the end, it all depends on how hard I’m willing to work for it and how fast my knee is going to take to the graph, which so far it’s done really good,” he said. “As soon as [Dr. Kaplan] give me the full go, I’ll be back out there.”

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