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UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks is back; that's all you need to know

August 20, 2013|By Chris Foster
  • UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks returns a fumble for a touchdown against Houston last September.
UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks returns a fumble for a touchdown against… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks can be trusted with state secrets. There’s no chance he will end up cooling his heels in a Moscow airport.

Kendricks, a senior linebacker, returned to UCLA practice full time Tuesday after rehabilitating from what was said to be ankle surgery.

Just what exactly was wrong with the ankle? After a sports information department staffer whispered in his ear before being interviewed, Kendricks was ready to say little.

Kendricks said, “I’m not allowed to discuss that with you.”

Even whether he was ahead or behind the timetable the team’s medical staff gave him was a forbidden topic.

“I’m not allowed to discuss that,” Kendricks said.

What was allowed was discussing how much better the Bruins are with him back. Kendricks led the Pac-12 and finished 11th nationally last year with 146 tackles.

“It gives our team a lift,” Coach Jim Mora said. “He’s a leader on this team. To have him out there in the huddle, directing things and looking like he did is a great thing for us.”

Mora said he had no worries that Kendricks would be back in time for the season opener against Nevada on Aug. 31. Kendricks was sure as well.

“They gave me a time period and I knew I’d be in treatment every day,” Kendricks said. “I wasn’t too worried about the time frame. I was going to get back when my body told me it was right.”

Kendricks said he had the surgery “four weeks ago” and that he injured the ankle in the spring. The rest, it seems, is on a need-to-know basis.

“The surgery was optional,” Kendricks said. “It was in the best interest to do it at that time, knowing when training camp was and when the season was.”

As to what was exactly wrong, Kendricks said, “It's just little nagging pain. It was a little annoying. It wasn’t normal. I know how my body feels when it’s normal and it was just a little bit off.”

As to how he feels now.

“I don’t know, it’s just an ankle,” Kendrick said. “It’s a little bit sore. I’m on the way to recovery."

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