August 9, 2006

Monty moving forward

MADISON, Wis. - University of Wisconsin senior defensive end Joe Monty has a lot to be thankful for.

Back in April, the weekend after spring practice concluded, Monty was in a traffic accident involving his moped. It was an accident that could have claimed Monty's life, but he's been given a second chance.

"Of course I feel lucky," Monty says looking back on the accident. "of course I do.

After the accident, he was taken to the hospital, where he underwent surgery to repair facial fractures he sustained during the accident. The following Tuesday, the 6-foot-2, 253-pound Fort Collins, Colo., native was released from the hospital and continued treatment under the watchful eye of UW physicians and sports medicine staff.

This past Sunday, the Badgers started their fall training camp in preparation for the 2006 season with Monty making his return. The only obvious indicators of his late-April accident are some facial lacerations and his weight. Monty said he's at 253, which is seven pounds lighter than what the official roster lists him.

On Wednesday, Monty spoke to the media for the first time publicly since his accident.

"Well, as I've been told, through legal issues I'm not going to be able to speak about the accident or anything dealing with it," Monty said. "But I wanted to say and get out there is I'm really sorry for my fans, my family, my friends, my team, my coaches for the accident. And I'm really looking forward to moving on and getting through this season and getting through this last academic semester that I have."

Besides cuts on his face, Monty said he doesn't expect to be held out of any drills this fall due to physical limitations.

"There has never been anything that I couldn't do that would hinder me from being able to have contact or do anything like that, no," Monty said.

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