Pitt Football Spring Practices: Could Dan Mason Return In 2012?

After being carted off the field, Dan Mason hopes to return in 2012 (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Dan Mason saga seems to come up every year around this time. Ever since the linebacker was carted off the field in a blowout loss to Miami in 2010, fans have been hoping for his return.

Last spring, there was hope that Mason could get on the field a year after the horrific leg injury, but that wasn't the case. Now, there's a new feeling of optimism that Mason could play in 2012.

While a return is by no means a guarantee, head coach Paul Chryst at least isn't ruling it out:

"I'm anxious to see how it goes," Chryst said. "I think he's anxious to see. That will be an ongoing story this spring, but I've got a lot of respect and appreciation from understanding his situation to how he's going through it. It's pretty neat and hopefully it ends up being a good thing for Dan, which would be good for us."

Andrea Adelson says Mason is ready to practice and that he could compete for time.

There's still lots of murkiness with this whole situation. Reading this the best I can, it seems like it's a possibility but no one, even Chryst, seems to know much more than that. It sounds as if Mason could return this season or sit out every game once again. It seems positive that Mason is going to practice, but he practiced (non-contact) last year near the beginning of the year. And Mason, if you'll remember, said he was going to be back last year and that never materialized.

This may sound awful, but at this stage, if Mason is ever able to return it has to be considered a bonus. Mason was a beast for Pitt and his presence would immediately help if he's healthy. But that's the question - even if he can get back onto the field, it will take a while for him to get all the way back ... if he ever does.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt football and basketball.

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