Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Phillips, Friend hoping to be back for Michigan game

Junior receiver Shakim Phillips was pretty confident that his tender hamstring will not keep him out of Saturday's game against No. 15 Michigan while senior offensive tackle Kevin Friend is another of the key players undergoing multiple treatments a day in an attempt to get back on the field.

"I feel good, I am all right. I think I will be (able to play)," said Phillips, who was injured during his 75-yard touchdown reception in the loss to Maryland.."Around like the 20 I felt something. When you are in the game you kind of feel something but there is no way I am going to stop now. I am not going to quit or anything like that so I felt running and tried to push through it. It feels a lot better than it did on Saturday, I am just doing rehab three times a day trying to get to get back as fast as possible.

"It happens and that is just the way the game works. I just have to keep doing treatments and I will be all right. I feel a lot better, I am able to move a lot better. It wasn’t really bad, bad where I couldn’t walk but I did need some help"

If Phillips is frustrated, imagine what Friend is going through. He missed the season-opening loss to Towson due to concussion-like symptoms and was able to get back in the mix only to get knocked out of the game in the first half.

"It is so frustrating," Friend said. "I wish I could be out there because I could help us be better as a team.

"I do what they tell me. I am doing everything I can do to get back and make some plays."

Friend suffered a high-ankle sprain when he was pushed to the ground by a Maryland defender. Friend got up slowly and started to line up when he was pulled from the game. He did return but was pulled from the game again and this time he did not return.

"It was terrible," Friend said. "I was so psyched for the game, the adrenaline is rushing and I was doing pretty good and (it happening) early in the first quarter too I was so frustrated, I felt awful watching my team knowing that they need me out there, It is disappointing, I am a competitor and I want to compete."

UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said he considers Friend, Phillips and starting linebacker Graham Stewart question for the Michigan game.

"They are working hard doing their part for the rehab part," Pasqualoni said. (UConn athletic trainer) Bob Howard is working on them as hard as he can and the kids are working as hard as they can. We’ll have to see how it goes, they are getting a little bit better. They were a little better yesterday and a little better today so we will see how it goes."

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