Notre Dame sick bay: Kelly encouraged heading into spring

Notre Dame sick bay: Kelly encouraged heading into spring
February 28, 2014, 5:00 pm
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Tony Andracki

With the Blue and Gold game six weeks off, Notre Dame is trying to regain health at the start of spring practice.

-- Safety Nicky Baratti, who had two shoulder surgeries in 2013 (the latest coming in August), is ready for action.

"He's going to be involved in a lot," coach Brian Kelly said in Friday's press conference. "Let's put it this way: He's going to be able to be evaluated fully even if he is limited in some degrees relative to the contact.

"So, I'm not worried about Baratti. He's clean in the sense that he's going to do everything. Maybe we put a red jersey on him in the spring game or something, but he's going to be invovled in everything."

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-- Center Nick Martin is out, though Kelly said he has progressed nicely since tearing his MCL Nov. 23.

"He will not contact, but he's going to do everything against air," Kelly said. "He's made incredible progress. He's just one of those natural deals where his body has healed incredibly well."

-- Insider linebacker Jarrett Grace, who broke his leg in four places on Oct. 5, is still out as he continues to make slow progress.

"It's all about the healing of that fracture that he had," Kelly said. "Ligaments, tendons, all that's good. It's the leg, so he would be out of spring ball relative to contact."

-- Freshman cornerback Devin Butler joined the group of Irish players with shoulder injuries and underwent surgery to repair the issue in January. He is out for spring.

-- There's reason for optimism surrounding defensive lineman Tony Springmann (torn ACL in August, and then a subsequent infection in the knee), but Kelly ruled him out for spring.

-- Outside linebacker Ben Bouncell will run through some drills, but is not cleared for contact.

[MORE: Five Notre Dame players to watch in spring practice]

-- Defensive lineman Chase Hounshell and linebacker Doug Randolph are both good to go.

-- For his part, Kelly said he is good to go.

"I am fine," Kelly deadpanned. "I had five days of skiing in Deer Valley and I did not get hurt, which is a miracle with my three crazy kids, so I'm happy."

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