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Lewis' recovery ahead of schedule

Even though watching the replays of his season-ending ankle injury last fall at Georgia Tech might induce others to feel sick to their stomachs, Hurricanes receiver Malcolm Lewis said he doesn't cover his eyes or even wince in disgust when he sees it.

According to the sophomore standout from Miramar High, he's taken the video of his pain and suffering and used it both as a learning tool and as motivation when he fully recovers to keep playing the game the way he always has.

"I watch it and see what I could've [done] to prevent the injury," Lewis said Tuesday -- about a month since he began individual work and route running on his own.

"I should have kept my feet chopping instead of letting it sit in the ground and roll... It was just a football play -- fighting for extra yardage. Something tragic happened. But there's nothing you can do. I'm still going to be the same player, fight for extra yards every time."

Last week UM coach Al Golden called Lewis' return "a medical miracle." Truth is, Lewis said, he's about a month ahead of schedule. Doctors first told him at the end of September it would take him about eight months before he would finish rehab.

He said while his teammates have been practicing this spring he's been lifting light weights while gaining strength back in his ankle. He said he's progressively been lifting heavier weights over the last few weeks as his ankle strength has improved.

"It felt weird [at first]," Lewis said of running routes at the start of camp. "Now that things have been going on and on I've been feeling better."

He said he expects to be fully cleared for contact next month and ready to go in the fall.

"It's a blessing just to be back on the field and doing what I can," Lewis said. "[Doctors] didn't know it wouldn't be happening this fast. I shouldn't be running this quickly. I should be rehabbing right now. But my leg is feeling stronger.

"I'm just going to try to pick up where I left off, do the best I can."

> Golden said defensive end Dyron Dye has an Achilles injury, but didn't rule him out from returning this coming season.