BATON ROUGE, La. — A torn hamstring last November prematurely ended Travin Dural’s junior season.
It also led to one of the most traumatizing experiences the wide receiver has ever gone through.
Dural, who excels at making dangerous catches in the middle of the field and laying blocks on opposing defenders, underwent an excruciatingly painful surgery to repair his hamstring, in which the surgeons had to shave off part of his bone to save the tendon.
“It was painful. It was the most pain I’ve ever been in,” Dural said Tuesday after LSU wrapped up its 13th spring practice.
“After surgery, I was on crutches for a while. I was down on my luck for a little while like I was before, but I started to get better and the pain went away and eventually I could walk again.”
Nearly five months removed from surgery, Dural is still a ways away from fully participating this spring.
The senior wide receiver works out with the trainers and goes through certain exercises to test out his abilities while the team practices.
Dural is pleased with how much progress he has already made, especially after a rough start in the process. Now he believes he’s almost where he was during the season.
“I’ve been sitting back, letting it heal,” Dural explained. “After a while, I started walking more, getting the hamstring back again. It’s been a long healing process, but it didn’t seem like it took that long.
“For the most, I can run, cut and jump like I was before. Everything is pretty much good again. I’m 100 percent like I was before, but I’ve got to get strong again, but I’d say I’m 100 percent.”
The receiver will not participate in the Tigers’ spring game on Saturday, but will resume full practices in June. Then, he will be able to test out all parts of his body, something he is anxious to finally do.
The injury left Dural with a rehab process and, subsequently, a return for his senior season.
Dural isn’t bitter about not pursuing his NFL dreams. Rather, he’s welcomed the opportunity.
“I wouldn’t say it’s disappointing. The NFL isn’t going anywhere,” Dural said. “I get a chance to play in Tigers Stadium one more time and get my degree. It wasn’t disappointing.”