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Utah football notes: Tony Bergstrom is back in for Utes

Published October 7, 2011 12:37 am

Utah football notes • Offensive lineman expects to play Saturday, just three weeks after suffering a torn MCL.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom always works hard in practice, but he works even harder in the training room.

Bergstrom, who tore his medial collateral ligament in the first quarter of the BYU game, is expected to play Saturday against Arizona State.

Normally the knee injury requires four to six weeks of recovery, but Bergstrom said he recovered faster with the help of Utah's training staff.

"We did everything we could," he said. "I slept with a machine stuck to my leg and everything. Washington was the goal but obviously that was unrealistic. But you shoot for the stars, and drag your feet through the trees, so we aimed high."

Having Bergstrom back in the lineup should be a huge boost for Utah's offensive line and quarterback Jon Hays, although Bergstrom downplayed his role.

"Jon Hays is fine," Bergstrom said. "He can help me. Jon has put in so much work, the offensive line told him we have his back and we'll do anything we can for him. We respect the heck out of Jon."

Close connections

Saturday's game is a little special for Utah fullback Luke Matthews, who hails from Phoenix, Ariz., and has several friends on ASU's team.

Matthews said he considered going to ASU, but the Sun Devils wanted to play him at safety.

"I wanted to play offense," he said. "I felt more comfortable here, too."

Matthews has six catches for 49 yards this season and is still getting back into his form after missing the BYU game with an injury.

While competing against players he knows will be fun, he said he won't be any more motivated than normal.

"Every game is a big game to me," he said.

Return game

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said no decision has been made on whether the Utes will use Ryan Lacy on kick returns against Arizona State after he fumbled the opening kickoff against Washington.

Whittingham said Lacy, Charles Henderson, Dres Anderson and Reggie Dunn are all candidates.

"You don't can a guy for one turnover, but you want to get his confidence back," Whittingham said.

lwodraska@sltrib.com

Twitter: @lyawodraska