MADISON - Nick Toon is anxious to get back on the field. Whether his turf toe riddled foot is ready to give him that opportunity is an entirely different subject.
"It's still kind of a thing that we're taking day-by-day," Toon said. "If I feel good on Saturday I'll definitely play."
Toon, who has been sidelined since the team's opening win over UNLV, returned to practice Tuesday afternoon, but didn't participate fully in all drills. At this time, it seems he's trying to ease himself back into game action.
"It felt good," Toon said following his return to practice. "I didn't do a whole lot, but it felt good and I didn't feel it too much. It's getting there."
Turf toe is an injury that can plague a certain player an entire season, or its something that can arise and go away within a few short weeks. Toon says the pain in his foot doesn't necessarily start or end at a certain place, rather that it surrounds the majority of his foot.
"It's kind of hard to place," Toon said. "It's kind of all over my foot. It's all over the big toe."
Is there concern that this injury could last longer than Toon, or anybody else, anticipated?
"Obviously with severe injuries some guys deal with it the rest of their season or through multiple seasons," Toon said. "I don't anticipate that, mine's not that bad. I don't think I'll have problems with it later in the season. But obviously the healing process takes a little while and your body takes a little while to heal.
"Once it's fully recovered I don't think that it will be something that bothers me. I may still feel it for a couple of weeks but I think it should be just fine after that time has passed."
With UW's non-conference finale upcoming in a matter of a few short days, Toon, having yet to be cleared, may not play yet again. Should that be the case, Toon would be hopeful to play in the Badgers conference opener at Michigan State.
However, having not played for a number of weeks and having hardly practiced at full speed, there could be legitimate concern that Toon would be rusty coming back from a layoff.
The junior wide receiver didn't think that would be the case.
"I think the rust will be knocked off in practice," Toon said. "I've had significant playing time over the past two years. I'm not worried about being rusty when the game finally comes."
What about his speed and ability to cut on a sore foot?
"I don't think it will hamper my speed at all," Toon said. "I honestly don't think it's going to have any major effect on my game. If it did, I don't think I'll be playing. Obvioulsy I wouldn't be ready to be back out on the field yet. That's something the training staff tries to prevent from happening. They're not going to put a guy out on the field that's not able to do his job and is not ready to play.
"That's not going to be an issue."
Having been sidelined for the past two games, Toon has had an opportunity to watch the offense function first hand. Without him or fellow veteran David Gilreath in the lineup, the Badger offense has had its fair share of bright spots. It's also had some plays where timing seemed to be off and points were left on the field.
Still, for Toon, he hasn't lost any confidence in the ability of the offense.
"I wouldn't say my opinion has changed," Toon said. "I think we have kind of yet to see our team at full strength. Obviously we've got some guys dinged up on my side of the ball as well as on the defensive side of the ball. We haven't really seen what we can do yet.
"I'm excited to see us at full strength and doing what we can do."