Beatty targets early return

BY J.T. BUGOS | FEBRUARY 10, 2010 7:30 AM

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Chad Beatty is eyeing an early return.

The senior said he isn’t sure when he can compete again, but since breaking his foot more than a month ago, his rehab is ahead of schedule.

“Each day, we’re getting better,” the 197-pounder said. “I’m just trying to get the motion back and get a lot of the stiffness and the swelling out. I’m feeling really good, and my conditioning is getting better.”

He broke his right foot during the Midlands Championships on Dec. 30, 2009, during a match against Wisconsin’s Trevor Brandvold. The Wilton, Iowa, native toughed out the remainder of his 6-3 win, then underwent surgery to repair the Lisfranc joint.

If Beatty does make a return before the originally schedule date — the Big Ten championships, less than a month away — he will again be on the mat with Brandvold. Wisconsin is Iowa’s last dual meet of the season.

The cast was removed on Jan. 29, and he said he felt significant progress in a little over a week. His foot isn’t painful anymore, he said, just stiff.

“I’m working that stiffness out, and it’s definitely not going to hold me back,” he said. “We’re getting my stance and motion back and working on fakes and penetration. But I don’t know when I can return.”

Even with the uncertainty about the timing, Beatty said he is “day-to-day.” Both he and Iowa head coach Tom Brands are anxiously anticipating his return to competition.

“I don’t know if he’ll be back before Big Tens,” Brands said. “That’s the race. I don’t think the race is for the middle of March. It’s for the beginning of March.”

Brands said he’s forced to defer to the medical experts. But the fourth-year head coach has noticed his senior’s eagerness to put on a singlet again.

Once Beatty dons the Black and Gold, he will try to continue his best start to a season.

With a 13-2 overall record prior to his injury, the 197-pounder had risen to a No. 4 ranking, where he still stands. His only two losses came to Iowa State’s top-ranked Jake Varner.

Beatty fell by major decision to Varner, 12-4 , in their first match during the Hawkeyes’ dual against the Cyclones in Ames on Dec. 6, 2009, but narrowed the gap to a 4-1 defeat in his second loss in the semifinals of the Midlands.

Two of Beatty’s victories have come against ranked opponents, including No. 7 Brandvold and No. 20 Joe Kennedy of Lehigh. Both victories were by decision at the Midlands.

Beatty has missed 10 dual meets so far, which, he said, is frustrating. But he noted that junior Luke Lofthouse is capably filling in.

Lofthouse owns a 17-11 record, including an upset win over No. 8 Anthony Biondo of Michigan.

Beatty said he wants Lofthouse to win, just as he wants his team to win, even if he is beside the mat instead of on it.

Both Beatty and Brands know the recovery could veer off course, but the two are optimistic about the possibilities.

“These things physically take time to heal, and there’s a definition of time for the both to heal,” Brands said. “I think attitude and motivation can skew that in our favor, though.”

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