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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 9:30 pm

IU's Hartman cleared for contact

CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette

BLOOMINGTON — Indiana forward Collin Hartman, rehabbing from knee surgery, has gained the necessary clearance to resume contact activities.

"Collin on Sunday night in his last checkup was actually cleared for contact," IU coach Archie Miller said Tuesday. "As we approach these team workouts we'll be very, very smart with him. There is no real reason to speed him up, but I think confidence-wise, mentally and physically, he feels as good as he's felt in a long, long time."

The Hoosiers shied away from establishing firm timelines during his recovery from surgery last fall, and Hartman ended up missing all of the 2016-17 season, which would have been his senior campaign. He considered ending his playing career but decided this spring to stay in college and use his final season of eligibility.

"I talked to a lot of people," Hartman said Tuesday in his first media session since the decision. "I really took to heart what people said who didn't have a stake or biased opinion in the matter. I talked to people that were neutral and just gave me an insight on life. I love my mom more than anything, but I knew she wanted me to stay."

Hartman said it was a "big step" for the team's medical staff to confirm the necessary strength has returned to his left knee.

"We've taken this process somewhat slow," Hartman said. "We've been really diligent in the rehab and staying safe, taking the time we have. There was no need to push into contact."

Hartman might be taking his recovery step by step, but Miller insisted Hartman is "ahead of schedule" and on track to be "full go" by the start of preseason fall camp.

"One of the main reasons I came back is because I know I won't get another chance at this," Hartman said. "It's cool to be a part of two eras. I just had four great years with (former IU coach Tom Crean). I'm appreciative for everything he's done for me and also looking forward to what we do going forward."