Stanford's star wide receiver, Ty Montgomery, is apparently ahead of schedule in rehabbing a shoulder injury and could be ready as soon as the Cardinal's season opener against UC Davis next month.
Both Montgomery and head coach David Shaw expressed optimism that the senior would be ready to go earlier than anticipated when they spoke to reporters Wednesday at the Bay Area College Football Media Day, which was held at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
"Whenever they can tell me I can play, I'm ready to play," Montgomery said, per The Associated Press.
Shaw said the decision on when Montgomery returns to the field is in the hands of doctors.
"I never follow the direction of the player. I always follow the direction of the doctors," Shaw said. "We'll see. Ty's ahead of schedule. He's ahead of schedule. He's a phenomenal athlete. And if he's ready to go Game 1 and the doctors say, 'You know what, he's at limited risk for re-injury, let's let him go play,' I'm all for it."
Montgomery missed all of spring practice because of the shoulder injury. He suffered the injury late last season but ended up playing through it as the team made its run to the Rose Bowl. The wide receiver told The Associated Press that he's already lifting weights, running routes and only waiting for doctors' approval before returning to full-contact practices in fall camp.
Easily the Cardinal's top receiver entering 2014 after a breakout junior year, most believe the coaching staff will be cautious with Montgomery given the fact that the team has an easy opener against UC Davis before a much bigger Week 2 game against rival USC. At Pac-12 Media Days, Shaw said he expected Montgomery to come back better than ever from the injury and live up to the billing some are giving him as a possible first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.
"Bottom line for Ty, when he comes back, he might be the most explosive player in college football, and he's going to touch the ball in every single way possible," Shaw said last week. "He's going to be a huge part of our offense, because he is a difference maker."
The 6-foot-2, 215 pounder caught 61 passes for 958 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and was one of the best return men in college football, as well.