Lindley making progress, will hopefully play Saturday

Cornerback Trevard Lindley did not have any adverse effects from his participation in Tuesday’s practice and worked out again on Wednesday, Coach Rich Brooks has reported.

“It’s encouraging that he’s gone through two days, even though he’s probably not at 100 percent, at least he’s out here going through reps (practice repetitions),” Brooks said. “He’s going to be sore. It’s been over a month now, so I think hopefully he’ll be ready to take some snaps this week (in the game).

“If he’s well, it makes a major, major difference in our defense because you usually don’t have to worry too much about the guy he’s covering,” Brooks said. “That makes a pretty significant difference. You think back at a few games that we’ve played it might have made a major difference.

“The games he (Lindley) played in, he played extremely well. There’s still some things coming back that he can accomplish and he has four games to finish up, hopefully five, that will put him in good shape for his future.”

Three key players returned to practice on Wednesday, offensive guard Christian Johnson, linebacker Micah Johnson and tailback Alfonso Smith, after missing Tuesday’s practice because of illness. However, eight other Wildcats who missed Tuesday because of new injuries or illnesses also did not participate on Wednesday.

Quarterback Mike Hartline has begun participating in some drills at practice, but it is still not known if he will be able to return this season

“He (Hartline) took some pass drops yesterday and threw the ball one-on-one in individual stuff, and did it again today,” Brooks said. “There was no swelling this morning. He’s increasing his activities. We’ll just have to see how it goes in the next 5-to-10 days.”

Hartline incurred a torn medial collateral ligament and torn cartilage in his knee at South Carolina on Oct. 10. The MCL is healing but is uncertain how much the cartilage will limit Hartline. Brooks reiterated that it is still unknown when, or if, Hartline will be able to play again in 2009.

After the personnel updates, Brooks turned his attention to this week’s opponent, the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. EKU is 5-3 on the season, and with three close losses, is only three plays away from being undefeated.

“They’re doing some very good things,” Brooks said. “They run the spread, they throw it, they run the counter play that we had trouble with. They’re going to mix it up with the run and the pass. Defensively, they’ve been very, very stingy. They did a good job against the run against almost everybody. This will be a tough game.”