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Tua Tagovailoa updates media on his rehab as Tide arrives in Miami

Tua and Saban
Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban and the rest of Alabama football arrived in Miami (Fla.) on Monday afternoon, as it prepares to face Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on Saturday. While practice for both schools start on Wednesday, media outlets remain inquisitive about Tua Tagovailoa’s ankle and his rehab. 

The sophomore quarterback and Heisman finalist for the Crimson Tide injured his left ankle versus Georgia in the SEC title game on Dec. 1, which sidelined him for the remainder of the matchup and forced Jalen Hurts to come off the bench to engineer a comeback victory. 

Since having arthroscopic surgery, Tagovailoa has progressed very well in rehab under Alabama’s athletic trainer, Jeff Allen. He was cleared to not have the walking boot during the Heisman Trophy presentation and wore neither boot nor wrap on his ankle last week in practice. 

RELATED: Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa expects to be 100 percent by next week

According to the native Hawaiian, he was full go with everything else after being initially limited during the first couple of practices. 

“You know I trust and believe in what Jeff Allen and his training staff can do,” Tagovailoa said. “They say it has been done before, so I think it is a mindset thing. You have to go in with the mindset that you want to get better right away. And that’s how I look at it.” 

Aside from teammates with Allen, Tagovailoa said getting proper rest has also helped with his recovery as the fourth 3,000-yard passer of the Nick Saban era is excited for his battle against Kyler Murray and Oklahoma. 

“And at this point we’re doing a lot better. It feels pretty good,” Tagovailoa said on his ankle. 

When it comes to Saban, the Crimson Tide’s head football coach said his starting quarterback has been able to get all the reps needed for him. 

“It will be interesting to see after having a few days off, with the additional rehab, how that impacts his ability to get closer to 100 percent,” he said of Tagovailoa.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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