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March 31, 2008

Meyer addresses Harvin's heel issue

Wide receiver Percy Harvin has a heel injury and coach Urban Meyer said in the next couple days a team of doctors should be recommending treatment. Surgery is an option and Meyer said it's an injury that is caused by overuse.

Harvin first dealt with the injury in high school and it came to a head last summer, when the thought was Harvin had tendonitis. It isn't tendonitis.

An MRI has shown trauma to the heel bone and Meyer said Harvin is having knee and hip issues as well because he is compensating for the heel injury.

"We had a conference call and they're pretty close, probably in the next day or two, what treatments we're going to have for it," Meyer said after Monday's practice. "It's a heel injury and it's gone up into his knee. We had a specialist from North Carolina and then two guys, a foot specialist here and (team physician) Dr. Pete (Indelicato). We're coming up with a plan and should come up with it in the next couple days.

"It's unique. Not many guys have ever had this. The MRI showed it's a significant injury. They want to make sure they do him right. Everything I've been told, the chance of any issue in the fall, they just want to fix it. He should be full speed for the fall."

Harvin missed the Alabama game in his freshman season because of a high ankle sprain. The No. 1 recruit by Rivals.com in the 2007 recruiting class was out for the South Carolina and Florida Atlantic games last season because of illness.

Even though he missed two games, Harvin led Florida with 59 catches for 858 yards and four touchdowns. He was second on the team in rushing with 764 yards and six scores on 83 attempts.

"When I hear doctors say we never really dealt with this, they're making a lot of calls to see if anyone else has dealt with this," Meyer said. "It comes from overuse and he's one of those quick-twitch guys and from planting his leg in the ground and you can see when they show the MRI, it shows the white where there's trauma to the heel."

Meyer talks about the running backs

Kestahn Moore, who finished with 580 rushing yards and six touchdowns on 104 carries but had fumbling issues last season, continues to have a solid spring, Meyer said. Moore was recently tagged as the No. 1 back so far. The others are battling for playing time as well.

"Chris Rainey and Brandon James are the next two and our man (Emmanuel) Moody is showing some glimpses of what makes him a premiere running back," Meyer said. "He's just got to be much more consistent."

Meyer called Rainey, who now weighs about 176 pounds, one of the top five playmakers on the team and that usually means Florida is going to find ways to get him the ball.

Rainey has been superb at times during spring practice whether running the ball or catching it in the flat and making people miss.

"You can expect to see (Rainey) playing a little outside as well," Meyer said. "He's up in the top five playmakers on the team and you know our history, if you're a top five playmaker you touch the ball a bunch. He's one of those guys.

"He's on that top four or five list as far as turnarounds. He had a hard time just brushing his teeth and shaving and getting himself right for day-to-day work. I don't know if he's a grown man yet. He's getting there."

Meyer said Mon Williams, who tore his anterior-cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee last spring practice, is not yet fully recovered. Williams is also in the conversation for playing time in the backfield.

"Good attitude, good effort, he's just not 100 percent," Meyer said.





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