Grace back in South Bend, ready to help Irish however he can

Grace back in South Bend, ready to help Irish however he can
October 11, 2013, 1:30 pm
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Notre Dame linebacker Jarrett Grace is back in South Bend after breaking his leg Saturday against Arizona State, and has been in good spirits throughout his season-ending ordeal. The linebacker had to stay in Dallas for a few nights after his surgery, as the threat of blood clots prevented him from flying back to northern Indiana.

Grace's father, Joel, talked to his son Friday morning and said he's taken an optimistic outlook on his predicament.

"He suffered a lot of pain there through it," Joel Grace told "But he's optimistic, and ready to get back after it as soon as he can get healed up."

The expected recovery window for Grace is four to six months, putting his return right around the start of spring ball. Grace is hopeful he can return for those March and April practices, but for now is eager to help out Notre Dame, which now has thin and inexperienced depth behind starters Dan Fox and Carlo Calabrese.

[More: With Grace out, Irish inexperienced at inside linebacker]

"(His attitude) is just thinking about how he can help and support his team, and help the other linebackers," Grace said.

Grace's parents weren't in Texas when the injury happened, but his mother flew to Dallas Sunday to be with him after he underwent surgery to insert a rod into his fractured fibula. The linebacker's parents had begun to see their son coming into his own, so that coupled with seeing him lie in pain on the AT&T Stadium turf created a distressing sight.

"It was pretty shocking. We were both pretty upset," Grace said. "He was having a real good game, and then just to have that, to end his season like that sure was frustrating."