His voice is still scratchy from the breathing tube, but most of the cuts and bruises from Ashely Lowery's horrific car accident in early May have healed.
A family friend and spokesman told the Herald-Leader on Thursday that it's likely the junior safety will return to Lexington in early June and rejoin the football team.
"We're hoping he can get up there sooner than later," Doug Stutsman said. "We still don't have an exact timetable or date for sure. We're hoping in the next couple of weeks. The sooner the better."
Lowery, who was released from the Northeast Georgia Medical Center on May 10, is up and moving around well while recovering in his home in Cleveland, Ga., from the accident that threw him 100 feet from his mangled vehicle.
Early on the morning of May 4, his 2006 Nissan Altima reportedly left the road and flipped several times.
"As for the injuries, he's doing OK," Stutsman said. "The biggest injury right now is this gash above his right ankle. Once he gets that healed, we're hoping to get him back up in Lexington and get him back on the field for the summer."
Staples were put in the right ankle injury, but they didn't hold. So doctors are trying other methods to keep the deep gash closed and help it fully heal.
When UK Coach Mark Stoops went to the hospital to visit Lowery, he gently encouraged the junior to get back to campus as soon as he was ready.
"(Stoops) was just saying, we want him to stay at home with his mom in White County for as long as he wants to, but as soon as he's ready, tell him to get on back up there because we want him around our doctors and under our training staff," Stutsman said.
Lowery has not gotten back behind the wheel since the accident. Stutsman as well as family and friends have been transporting Lowery around town.
"It's going to be awhile for him to overcome that fear and get back into driving a car," Stutsman said. "He's OK riding. ... It's all still fresh in his mind and it's going to take a little while."
Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241 Twitter: @jenheraldleader Blog: ukwomen.bloginky.com