By LARRY VAUGHT
Mark Stoops hinted recently that good news might be coming soon on sophomore defensive lineman Josh Paschal, who has not played this season after being diagnosed with skin cancer on his foot before the season started.
He needed surgery to remove the malignant melanoma but before the Kentucky-Vanderbilt game last week, Paschal was on the field working out with UK strength coach Corey Edmond — the father of UK volleyball star Leah Edmond.
“He has been working with coach Ed. He’s been strength training for a long time, from the beginning he’s been doing that. Now, he’s getting on his feet and the wound is healing. Then there’s the matter of just getting in shape, in football shape and controlling the foot. There’s a lot of factors that go into it, not just the wound itself. He’s working his way back in to shape,” Stoops said.
So why was he on the field before the Vanderbilt game?
“He wanted to go on the road with us, he always wants to be involved. He’s an unbelievable player. He affects people in a positive way,” Stoops said. “We had room, I was going to bring him to Texas A&M, and he actually got a little bit sick. He had a little touch of the flu or the cold, so we just thought we would keep him home and continue his rehab.
“But, he travelled with us to the team hotel this past week and he’s around. He’s just working his way back into the fold.”
Earlier this week teammate Jordan Wright tweeted, “The wait is almost over brudda,” and tagged Paschal and included “#FightFor4.” Obviously, 4 is Paschal’s number.
Another teammate, defensive lineman Quinton Bohanna, had pictures of him and Paschal together with this quote on Twitter: “Blood Couldn’t Make Us Closer #FightFor4.”
Stoops has not indicated when — or if — Paschal might play. Kentucky is at Missouri this afternoon.
A new NCAA rule that went into effect this year allows a player to play in four games or less and still be considered a redshirt.. The bowl game is included in that four-game limit.