There was a short time in early May when Bradley Dale Peveto wondered if he'd ever get to coach safety Ashely Lowery again.
It was the morning after a horrific car accident put the Kentucky junior in the intensive care unit for several days. Peveto got the call and then a text with the picture of Lowery's mangled Nissan.
"The last thing I thought about was football or safety or anything like that," Peveto said on Monday at UK's annual Media Day. "My prayer was, 'Lord, bless this young man. Don't take him from us yet.' Because when I saw that car, I was scared to death of what the outcome was going to be."
Lowery, the 6-foot-1, 219-pound safety, was charged with driving under the influence after the accident in his hometown of Cleveland, Ga., on May 4. His injuries healed sufficiently enough that he was able to return to campus in June.
He has been working out with his teammates and seems to be close to his former self.
"It's a miracle. I'm happy for him. I'm happy for us," Peveto said of Lowery, whose worst injury was a serious ankle gash. "A lot of prayers were answered for Ashely's health."
The junior wasn't allowed to speak with the media on Monday. His head coach said UK is still letting the legal process move forward before any punishment is handed down. A court date has not been set in White County.
"I'm not ready to name a penalty here today," Coach Mark Stoops said. "He's gone through an awful lot. We need to continue to go through the legal process, see what happens. I'm just trying to gather as much information as I can before we make any decision on his future, or suspension or anything like that."
Peveto said he has faith that Stoops will take appropriate action.
"There ain't a more fair person than Coach Stoops," he said. "He's trying to figure it all out, weigh it. He'll figure out the right thing for our football team and for Ashely as well."
Stoops and Peveto said that Lowery, UK's only returning safety with more than three career starts, has been practicing and going through normal activities with his teammates.
"When he first got up here in the middle of the summer, he had a long way to go, but he's rehabbed," Peveto said. "He's worked hard to get back to being at camp. That's very positive."
Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241 Twitter: @jenheraldleader Blog: ukfootball.bloginky.com