Hey everyone. Zaccheus Etheridge, whom you may know better as Zac, was gracious enough to call me a few minutes ago. Here's what he had to say.
- On the general situation: ``I'm very excited. I couldn't be more happy than I am right now."
- On if he had a sense about the doctor's opinion prior to the tests: ``I kind of had an idea, yeah. I didn't go in with a negative thought. Not one negative thought. I went in there feeling positive about it. I knew I had been feeling great."
- He was given an MRI scan, a series of tests to assess the strength of his neck muscles and an x-ray.
- He has been meeting with his Birmingham-based neurosurgeon, Dr. Swaid N. Swaid, once a month since the initial injury.
- On when he began to feel good about his chances to play again: ``Once I got out of the brace, it was all uphill. When the doctor told me that I didn't need surgery, that my body fixed itself, I knew I was in good shape."
- On if he would have considered hanging it up even if the doctor provided clearance: ``No. I never considered not playing. I've been telling everyone that I was going to play again regardless. I can't stop now."
- On the psychological toll the injury will take during two-a-days: ``I'll be dealing with that for a little while. It's that way with anyone coming back from an injury. Once I put my hat on somebody and get that first good hit, I know I'll feel good about it. I know there's going to be some tough days when I first get out there. I'll get through it."
- On if he's currently ready for the rigors of camp: ``I've been working out, running, lifting weights. I'm in good shape. There's always a little time in there beginning when you get used to the helmet and the weight of the pads. It'll be just like any other season, getting ready for the season."
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University
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