The official count is 87 weeks (612 days) since Mark Herzlich has put on a uniform to play football for Boston College.
This afternoon the BC linebacker, who has recovered from a rare form of bone cancer in his left leg and a stress fracture in his right foot, took another step forward by practicing in pads for the first time since the Eagles' Music City Bowl game against Vanderbilt on New Year's Eve in 2008.
"We will still take it day by day,'' said Herzlich this afternoon as he trotted onto the Eagles' practice field in preparation for what could be an emotional season opener against Weber State on Saturday. "If it was a big risk, I wouldn't be doing this, but I don't see much of a risk. So I'm going to keep going.''
BC coach Frank Spaziani said that Herzlich would dictate his own timetable in terms of when his comeback is complete.
"We will take each day and evaluate things and see where we are,'' said Spaziani. "We're not going to be foolish. It will be up to him to see how he feels."
After practice,Herzlich was upbeat and said he expects to play on Saturday.
""It was awesome,''he said. "It was a little weird. I was a little jittery and had some butterflies, but I felt good and after a couple of periods and a couple of drills, I was into it''
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell