Wisconsin is one step closer to getting its top defensive player back on the field.
Chris Borland missed most of Wisconsin’s Oct. 19 win over Illinois after tweaking a hamstring. Coming off the bye week, head coach Gary Andersen said Monday that he fully expects the linebacker to play this Saturday against Iowa.
Borland returned to practice Thursday, leading Andersen to maintain his cautiously optimistic stance while also allowing that it’ll be up to the player and the medical staff whether or not he sees the field.
“It’s really going to depend on Chris and the trainers,” Andersen said. “The trainers have done a tremendous job of getting him to this point. Chris knows how to take care of his body.
“Like I said early in the week, I’m very optimistic and I expect him to play.”
A final decision on Borland’s availability won’t be made until shortly before kickoff tomorrow.
Borland is far and away the Badgers’ leading tackler with 57; the next closest is Michael Caputo‘s 34. He’s also tied for second on the team in sacks (two) and third in tackles for loss (three).
Monday, he was announced as one of a dozen semifinalists for the 2013 Butkus Award, given annually to the nation’s best linebacker.