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Justin Gilbert could return at left tackle for the Nov. 5 showdown against Virginia, head coach Randy Edsall said Tuesday during his weekly press conference.
The junior began the 2010 season as Maryland’s starting left has been battling injuries since the spring when he underwent a second surgery on his ACL in April.
“Justin is excited about that progress and about that opportunity that he’s going to get,” Edsall said. “It’s been tough because he’s a competitor and he sees what had happened w\ Andy Gonnella going down.”
Edsall said Gilbert was in his office immediately after he discovered Gonnella would miss the remainder of the season, eager and willing to contribute despite not being cleared by the medical staff.
Gilbert has been participating in individual offensive line drills, including one-on-one pass protection, and next week will be upgraded to full team practices, pending clearance by the team doctors and trainers.
Standard ACL rehab takes between seven to nine months to complete. If Gilbert is able to play against the Cavaliers, it would have been an eight-month timetable.