Misi returns to Utah practice Monday

Posted by ESPN.com’s Graham Watson

Utah senior defensive end Koa Misi has been cleared to return to practice today, coach Kyle Whittingham said in a phone interview Monday, and there’s hope that he’ll be ready for the Utes game against San Jose State on Saturday.

“We sure hope he’ll be back for us this week,” Whittingham said. “He’s cleared to start practicing today. So, barring any setbacks we expect him to play on Saturday.”

Misi suffered a back injury on Aug. 19 and the following day Whittingham announced that he would be out indefinitely. Misi, who led all Utah defensive linemen with 68 tackles last season, practiced sparingly last week, but Whittingham hopes to have his all-conference player going full speed by the end of the week.

“We’re going to ease him back into it,” Whittingham said. “He won’t do everything, but he’ll work back into the system. Ease back in. A gradual return.”