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August 14, 2012

Antonio Poole hopeful injury won't derail his season

Redshirt freshman Antonio Poole was one of Michigan's top performers in April's spring game, and he was excited about the chance to contribute this fall. During the offseason, however, he suffered a pectoral muscle injury that may sideline him for 2012 ...

Poole wants to play. He's desperate to play this season after redshirting a year ago, but is putting his trust in the coaching and medical staffs.

"It's going to be Coach's decision if I play or not," Poole said. "He asks me how I feel, and I tell him I can play, but they don't want me to make it worse."

Poole doesn't even know when or how he tore the pectoral muscle, only that he began feeling uncomfortable in his chest this summer and consulted U-M's training staff. An MRI revealed the tear.

"I'm pretty tolerant of pain so when I did it, I just kept practicing with my teammates," he said. "It felt a little strange, but not enough to make me stop."

Poole is doing daily rehab, but he's limited in how many exercises he can do with his upper body, noting many of the weight-lifting techniques he and his teammates use to build their strength prior to the season, and to maintain it during the year, are out of bounds.

The 6-2, 224-pounder from Cincinnati is hopeful, however, that the injury will heal enough to allow him to return full time at some point this year, and that he will be able to see the field, even if just on special teams.

"Ever since I was a little kid, every fall, I played football, and I want to keep playing," he said. "I love it, and I miss it when I'm not playing so I'm staying positive that it will work out and that I can help this team win a Big Ten Championship."

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