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Injured Ole Miss LB Denzel Nkemdiche is a go for Alabama game

Derick E. Hingle / USA TODAY Sports
Ole Miss could receive a boost on defense from the return of linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche.

Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said earlier in the week that injured linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche's status for Saturday's game against Alabama would be determined largely by the amount of swelling in his knee Wednesday following a rigorous practice on Tuesday.

Consider that test passed.

"The test this morning was whether he would have a lot of swelling, and we were pleased to find out he did not have hardly any," Freeze said. "We feel very good about it as of today. He'll practice again tonight, and we'll check it again Thursday morning. If it looks like it did this morning, he'll be ready to go."

Nkemdiche hasn't played since the Rebels' season-opening win over Vanderbilt due to a knee injury. He has been pushing the Rebels coaching staff to put him back on the field against the Crimson Tide, but until Wednesday, Freeze has spoken more cautiously about his return.

Nkemdiche had a huge game for Ole Miss against Alabama as a freshman last season, with 11 tackles, three for losses, two forced fumbles and a sack. He finished the season as Ole Miss' leading tackler with 82 stops, despite being smallish for a linebacker (5-foot-11, 207 pounds).

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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