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Brown's broken leg back in boot

Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora says wide receiver DeAndre Brown is on track to start the season even though his left leg is back in a hard boot.

Brown, who was the nation's leading freshman receiver last year before suffering a broken leg in gruesome fashion during the New Orleans Bowl, was ahead of schedule for his recovery. But that timetable appears it's going to be altered.

A source inside the Southern Miss program says Brown recently decided to play some basketball and aggravated the injury. After meeting with doctors, Brown is back in a boot and probably will be in it for the next 10 days.

Brown suffered a horrific break during the New Orleans Bowl that left his lower leg hanging at a 90-degree angle. Doctors said Brown's recovery would likely be slow and take much of the offseason. Fedora told The Associated Press on Wednesday that nothing has changed despite the setback.

Coaches say that he is likely to miss the opener against Alcorn State, but they hope he'll be back for the Golden Eagles' second game, against Central Florida.

Fedora said Brown had swelling in the area around the fracture and has been in a boot for some time after doctors decided to slow his rehabilitation.

The 6-foot-6, 230-pound sophomore caught a Southern Mississippi school-record 67 passes for 1,117 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2008.

Bruce Feldman is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.