MADISON - Perhaps to the surprise of many following and covering Wisconsin football, the news that wide receiver Nick Toon wasn't in the lineup for last Saturday's game against San Jose State came as a shock.
As the junior copes with turf toe on his right foot, this Saturday's game against Arizona State also seems to be in doubt. At the conclusion of Tuesday's practice, BadgerBlitz.com caught up with the standout wide receiver.
The following is a question and answer with Toon:
How's the toe?
Toon: It's getting better everyday. It's a slow healing injury, but I'm just taking it day by day and hopefully I'll get back out there as soon as possible.
Do you expect to play this weekend?
Toon: I don't know. I've just got to take it day by day and see if I'm ready. If I'm ready I'll be out there. If I'm not then I'll have to wait until next week.
Coach Bret Bielema said he expected you back in practice on Wednesday. Is that still the plan?
Toon: Yeah, we'll see. We'll see how it feels tomorrow (Wednesday) and hopefully if I'm ready to go I'll go. If not, then I won't.
Last week, did they shut you down or did you say you can't go?
Toon: Physically I just can't go right now. I want to be out there and I hate sitting and watching. As soon as I'm physically able to go out and practice and play I'll do so.
When we talked to you after the UNLV game, did you know that night that it was as painful and that you might miss a game?
Toon: No, I've never had turf toe before so obviously I haven't dealt with the recovery process yet. This is new to me. It's not fun but it is what it is.
As a competitor is it tough watching the games from the sidelines?
Toon: Oh yeah, that's the first game I've missed since high school. It's my first game that I've missed in college. I felt sick to my stomach coming out of the tunnel and not being suited up and being able to play last weekend. It's definitely not a good feeling. I'll be back as soon as I can play.
Is there any concern of maybe rushing it?
Toon: Obviously you don't want to come back too soon and have it be a reoccurring thing throughout the season. I've got to work with the training staff and let it heal. I'll come back when I'm ready to play.
What kind of things do they have you doing to get you ready to play?
Toon: I'm doing all sorts of stuff. Everything I can possibly do from laser treatments, massage, ice contrast, ultrasound and everything else. I'm doing everything I can do and hopefully I'll be out there soon.
It just seemed like things weren't that crisp in the passing game. Is that understandable when you aren't in there and David Gilreath isn't in there. Does that have something to do with the comfort level Scott Tolzien has with you guys?
Toon: Obviously we've got to work with what we have. I have full confidence in Jared Abbrederis and Isaac Anderson and the rest of the guys that are out there, Kyle Jefferson. They are able to get the job done and I think we'll be fine, but obviously when the guys that Scott has spent the majority of the time working with, last year as well as throughout camp, aren't out there it makes it difficult. We've just got to play with what we've got, try to get everyone healthy and get back rolling.
How hard was it to watch David and what he went through?
Toon: It was tough. Concussions, as you know, they're cracking down on it and taking those things more seriously which they should. It's always tough watching a fellow teammate get hurt. He's fine and he's up doing everything. He didn't practice obviously today, but he's walking around and back to normal. Hopefully he'll be back out there soon as well.
How did you get hurt in Vegas?
Toon: Basically I caught a ball on the sideline and my foot was in the ground in an awkward position. Somebody just landed on the back of my leg and it was just kind of a freak injury. It was obviously unfortunate and very disappointing for everybody. It's part of the game.