Auburn DE Carl Lawson's recovery 'on schedule,' return for 2014 still uncertain

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 3, 2014 

AUBURN, Ala.Carl Lawson's recovery from offseason ACL surgery hasn't had any complications to this point, according to Auburn coach Gus Malzahn.

Still, it's far too soon to tell whether the sophomore defensive end will play this season.

"His rehab is going very well," Malzahn said. "He's worked extremely hard, but, of course, we knew that. He's the type you worry about working too hard to come back, but he's doing good. He's on schedule, so we'll just see what that means later in the season."

Lawson's injury occurred in the week leading up to the A-Day game in April. Lawson then met with orthopedic specialist James Andrews. After waiting two weeks, Lawson had surgery on May 1.

Malzahn admitted that while he's received updates on Lawson's rehab, doctors still know "more about that than I do." He did make one thing clear, however: He wouldn't consider letting Lawson return without being at optimum health.

"He's got to be 100 percent healthy, whenever that is," the coach said. "We'll see how that goes."

As it stands, the Tigers aren't planning on Lawson being available any time soon.

"I'm really not letting my mind go there," Malzahn said. "We're planning on playing without him, and if it works out, we'll go from there."

Last year, Lawson collected 20 tackles (7.5 for loss) and four sacks. He was expected to help fill the void left by defensive end Dee Ford, who led the team in tackles for loss (14.5) and sacks (10.5) last season.

Auburn had just one sack versus Arkansas in its season-opening victory last Saturday.

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