Buzard, after MRI indicates tendonitis in foot, will return for the season

David McCoy

The same foot that carried Aaron Buzard to a fourth-place finish in the 400-meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships March 11 is now well enough for him to compete again.

The junior runner on Minnesota men’s track and field team hasn’t competed since the first outdoor meet of the season – the Bay Area Blast Off March 18 – because of tendonitis in his right foot.

But he’ll be running again this weekend when the team competes Saturday at the Arizona State University Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.

“It’s a huge weight lifted off my shoulders,” Buzard said.

Buzard said the pain came on quickly after a Saturday workout following the Bay Area Blast Off and couldn’t walk the next day.

He originally thought the pain in his foot was caused by a stress fracture, he said, which would have ended his season, but MRI results last week confirmed that it was only tendonitis.

“It was very frustrating, a lot of mixed emotions,” Buzard said. “I didn’t know if it would keep me out the rest of the season.”

He didn’t like the thought of it, but Buzard strongly considered taking a redshirt season. That made the good news of the MRI results that much more joyful.

“Thank God,” coach Phil Lundin said. “I’m so happy to have him back. We had kind of a scare there in the initial assessments, but in the training session today it didn’t look like he has missed a beat.”

Buzard, who’s still only about 70 to 80 percent healthy, said he has ultrasounds done before every workout, accompanied with heat therapy.

And he will have a “very light” workout this week in preparation for Saturday’s event, Lundin said.

“I thought he handled (the injury) very well,” Lundin said. “He handled it better than I did. To lose a national-caliber athlete is always a big blow to the team.

“He’s a great model and fun to have around. Having ‘the Buz’ back picks everybody up.”