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Alabama center is ready

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Alabama center Barrett Jones still wore a protective boot on his left foot when he met with the media Thursday.

But the All-American insisted he was fine after a long layoff and was ready for Monday's BCS championship game between No. 1 Notre Dame (12-0) and No. 2 Alabama (12-1).

Jones swam and ran on an underwater treadmill to keep pressure off his injured foot, so he was ready to go when he returned to practice two days ago.

"I think the first day I was certainly a little rusty," Jones said. "Then the second day, I was a little less rusty. Hopefully today, I will be feeling good.

"I think it certainly helps that I started 49 games, that's an advantage. I'm not worried about that at all."

Jones' teammates also are not worried about him being ready to go against Notre Dame, especially after the way he performed when he injured his foot against Georgia in the SEC championship game Dec. 1.

"I did not know he was even hurt during the Georgia game," Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron said.