Posted by Chip Patterson
Okay Alabama fans you can stop holding your breath, your star is just fine.
The defending national champs and top-ranked team in the nation received quite the scare with the news that running back Mark Ingram, the defending Heisman Trophy winner, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday.
But when head coach Nick Saban addressed the media after Wednesday's practice, he seemed very optimistic about Ingram's recovery.
"Mark is doing extremely well," Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said after practice Wednesday. "He didn't have a lot of swelling, which is a good sign. That has a lot to do with how quickly he can come back."
"He's been here, but he hasn't been on the field because we're trying to keep him off his leg so he doesn't get the swelling," Saban said, "and (he) has been really working hard on the treatment."
Ingram was already ruled out for San Jose State this Saturday and is officially listed as week-to-week. One advantage Tide fans do have is second string running back Trent Richardson. Richardson ran for 751 yards and 8 touchdowns last season, not too shabby for a true freshman backing up the Heisman Trophy winner.
Richardson could easily be the starting running back on many teams in the FBS, and having him allows Nick Saban to possibly be more cautious bringing Ingram back to the field. After minor surgeries like this it is not uncommon to see players can be back on the field in as soon as 1-2 weeks. But with Alabama's schedule Saban could afford to let Ingram rehab for longer.
After San Jose State, the Tide will host No. 19 Penn State in Tuscaloosa followed by a trip to Duke on September 18. Letting Ingram rest for the first three weeks would allow him to come back full strength when Alabama faces a tough back-to-back at No. 17 Arkansas and hosting No. 4 Florida.
VIDEO: Our own Tony Barnhart discusses Ingram's absence and the upcoming season with Alabama head coach Nick Saban.