By TOM LEA
MADISON – The timing of Peniel Jean’s foot injury couldn’t have been much worse.
Approximately one week before the Badgers opened the 2012 season against Northern Iowa, Jean, UW’s top nickel back, broke the fifth metatarsal on his left foot. It was a rather routine play, but the pop he heard had him hoping for the best even though it was tough to surmise.
“We were doing one on ones and Isaiah Williams and I were both competing hard,” Jean said. “I just planted on my foot and felt the pop. I couldn’t put pressure on it. I didn’t want to think that (it was serious).
“I just hoped it was just a sprained ankle or something.”
Jean was sidelined for approximately six weeks. He missed each of UW’s first six games before gaining clearance — and confidence, more importantly — to start competing once again.
“I was upset, but I try to think with the positives,” Jean said. “I was really upset that I got injured obviously, but I tried to think the positives and get back fast. Where I could come back and just have a role on our team.
“Right now my role is special teams and I’m going to take full advantage of that. I don’t take it for granted.”
Jean says he still feels slight pain when he moves side to side. Though he claims it’s not unbearable, he understands the mental aspect of recovery is another hurdle.
“The doctors told me it’s not going to break again,” he said. “I just have to be more mentally strong and play and not think about it. Coming off a broke foot it’s more of a mental thing than the injury itself.”
Return to: Wisconsin Badgers Blog