July 11, 2009

Washington ready to run in 2009

Derrick Washington ran for 1,036 yards a season ago. He added 277 more yards on 29 receptions. He found the end zone a team-high 19 times. He was the third-leading rusher and touchdown maker in the Big 12 Conference. But there's a feeling that Missouri fans didn't really see Washington at his best in 2008.

"I think you saw him kind of toward the beginning of the season where he was explosive," teammate Jaron Baston said. "But he had a few injuries that kind of slowed him down."

Washington ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns in his first career game against Illinois. Soon after, a cyst was discovered on his knee. The sophomore played through the injury, but it visibly limited his speed and ability to break away from defenders.

Washington missed about half of spring football still nursing the injury back to health. On Thursday afternoon, he went through another 7-on-7 session with his teammates.

"Not back to normal," Washington said of his health. "But it's getting there, you know."

The Tigers open fall camp in less than four weeks, on August 6th. Washington says there is no doubt he will be ready to go at 100 percent by then. For the Tigers, he has to be.

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