It wasn’t the sight University of Hawaii football fans wanted to see.
At times during yesterday’s first practice of fall camp, senior receiver Rodney Bradley walked around with a noticeable limp.
Ten months removed from a broken left leg suffered against Idaho, Bradley tested it at full speed for the first time.
"It was the first day I really pushed it to see if it could handle everything I gave it and it felt good," he said.
So why the limp?
"It’s my right foot that’s bothering me a little bit," he said. "It’s got a little bit of a bruise, so it kind of limited me in the seven on sevens and stuff."
The good news is he’s very close to fully back from the devastating leg injury suffered in the second quarter of last year’s game at Idaho.
Bradley, clearly in a world of pain, was taken off the field in an ambulance and stayed back in Moscow while the Warriors returned home following a 35-23 loss.
During passing drills, he looked smooth making catch after catch down the sideline as he tries to hold off junior Joe Avery for the starting spot at left wideout.
Receivers coach Mouse Davis, returning to the UH practice field for the first time since 2006, liked what he saw when Bradley was on the field.
"He looked pretty good to me," Davis said. "The main thing is that he really wants (to play) and that’s the important thing. He’s working very hard at it."
Saying he was both anxious and excited, Bradley arrived at the practice field hours early yesterday, wanting to test out his leg.
With each step in every route, Bradley got back the confidence that saw him catch 31 balls for 575 yards and five touchdowns in a little over five games as a junior.
"At first I thought it was going to be a little tough coming back mentally with it, but today I didn’t favor it at all," Bradley said. "I wasn’t really thinking about it."
Transfer Darius Bright, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior, is also in the running at the left wideout spot, but could redshirt if Bradley is able to stay healthy and carry the load.
"It’s a possibility. I’m just working through it," Bright said. "(Bradley’s) been looking pretty good. The main thing is we’re competing, but we’re still working together as one team."
Samia focused on football
Freshman Moses Samia called yesterday’s practice "nothing like what we do at Saint Louis," but made it through his first full collegiate practice.
A two-time All-ILH selection at defensive end, Samia was also a standout baseball player for the Crusaders.
He said yesterday he still wants to play, but admitted focusing on football is the best option for him right now.
"I think I could do both, (but) thinking about it, I think the best thing to do right now is to try and focus on one sport," he said. "Yeah, it’s football right now."
He practiced mostly inside yesterday at defensive tackle.
Davis livens practice
The architect of the modern run-and-shoot offense, Davis had the quote of the day at practice yesterday, yelling out to a receiver that dropped a ball in the middle of the field.
"What did God give you the other hand for?" he yelled.
"He has that old school football voice," Bradley said. "You hear him talk and you just buy into everything he says."