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May 1, 2013
Exum's Road To Recovery
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It doesn't matter what anyone else says.
Despite tearing his right ACL and meniscus in January and undergoing surgery, Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum believes he'll be back on the field Aug. 31. That's the Hokies' season-opener against Alabama in Atlanta.
Exum suffered the injury playing in a pick-up basketball game and felt the 'pop' of the ligament when he landed awkwardly on the floor after attempting to grab a rebound.
Renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews performed Exum's surgery and since then, Exum has been going back and forth between Virginia Tech and Florida for rehab. Now 11 weeks in, Exum said he believes he's on pace to play against the Crimson Tide.
"I would say I'm probably ahead of schedule," Exum said. "Running on that alter-G machine and the underwater treadmill, I think that's something that's kinda later down the line. But I was cleared to do it, because of where my knee's at right now. I would think I'm ahead of schedule."
It was undoubtedly tough for Exum to watch spring practice from the sideline, but he was encouraged by the development of defensive backs like Brandon Facyson, Donovan Riley and Donaldven Manning.
After admittedly Googling other players who have had the same injury, Exum said he's aiming for a recovery like NFL star Darrelle Revis. Exum is still encouraged, but there's a ton of work for him to do for any chance to play against Alabama.
"Just the technology advancements that there's been over the years are speeding the process up for guys," Exum said. "It's not like 20 years ago when an ACL injury was the end of guys' careers or things like that. I think just where they're at medically and with the technology they have now, that's what's causing guys to be back faster than before. Also, the rehab and different things they've got guys doing in rehab, different machines and stuff like that can help you recover a lot faster. It wasn't that guys couldn't recover, it was just the time period. It was taking a year, two or three, but now guys can come back in months."
Don't tell Exum he can't be one of those guys.