Oregon State LB Pankey is back running

Good news for Oregon State fans: Coach Mike Riley just tweeted -- and it was confirmed by a school spokesperson -- that linebacker Keith Pankey ran for the first time Monday after tearing his Achilles tendon in February.

Odds are now good that Pankey, a senior who was in a platoon with Dwight Roberson at the "will" outside linebacker spot for two seasons, will be ready for preseason practices.

Back in January, the Beavers expected to have three of their top four linebackers back in 2010, with only Keaton Kristick departing. But Pankey got hurt and middle linebacker David Pa'aluhi quit -- so much for his widely reported military aspirations -- transforming a fairly solid position into a questionable one.

Pankey and Roberson now likely will man the two outside spots while sophomore Tony Wilson is the leader to replace Kristick inside.