Notre Dame should know in six weeks if it'll have inside linebacker Jarrett Grace available for this coming season.
Grace underwent another procedure Friday, performed by team surgeon Brian Ratigan, to insert a rod into the leg he broke in four places last fall against Arizona State. The good news, coach Brian Kelly said, is that the surgery went well and Grace's bones are expected to heal properly.
If Grace's recovery goes according to plan, the rod will stabilize his recovery and by mid-May Notre Dame can pencil the rising senior linebacker into its 2014 defensive strategy. But there's still an "if" factor with Grace's recovery, hence the six-week waiting period.
"I think what we're saying is that in six weeks, if we get the kind of growth we're expecting, he will be ready for the fall," Kelly said. "So we're hoping to get good news in six weeks I guess is the best way to put it."
Without Grace this spring, Notre Dame has ran with a thin depth chart at inside linebacker. While playing more 4-3 has helped mitigate some of the depth issues, the Irish have only been using two scholarship inside linebackers — rising senior Joe Schmidt and rising sophomore Michael Deeb.
Graduate student-to-be Kendall Moore can also play inside, too, and Notre Dame will add highly touted incoming freshman inside linebacker Nyles Morgan to its ranks over the summer.