Miami right tackle Seantrel Henderson missed four practices during preparation for Friday's Sun Bowl matchup against Notre Dame because of a stomach virus.
But the 6-foot-8, 330-pound freshman said he was nearly back into game shape after Monday's practice in El Paso, Texas.
"A little bit, a little bit," Henderson said of being winded. "But as it kept going, I started getting it back."
Miami interim coach Jeff Stoutland, who is also the offensive line coach, said Henderson's stamina is a concern, but the lineman impressed his coach at practice.
"He was re-acclimated today," Stoutland said. "He was doing some things that other players can't do."
Henderson graduated from the same high school as Irish receiver Michael Floyd, Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, Minn.
Although the two are friends, Henderson said he talked to Floyd for the first time in a while at a Sun Bowl event Sunday, but there was no trash talking between the two.
"We don't do that. We are real cool," Henderson said. "He knows who is going to win."
Henderson, who originally signed with USC but was released from his commitment after the Trojans were hit by NCAA sanctions, was also considering Notre Dame. Henderson said the Irish were fourth on his list.
"They had a change in coaches, a couple of different coaches," Henderson said. "I had an official visit there that was pretty cool. I just thought Miami was a better fit for me.
"I liked all the schools I took an official visit to. I just had to find where I would fit in the most, and I didn't think it was Notre Dame. That was it."
Henderson has started nine of 11 games for the Hurricanes this season.
"Seantrel is like our Great Wall of China," said quarterback Jacory Harris, who is competing for the starting spot Friday with Stephen Morris. "He's so big. It takes people a while to get around him if he keeps backing up, and he's so strong. He's been a major part of our offensive line this year."