That original schedule placed his return to action somewhere in the middle of January, after the Fighting Irish season was over. Fast forward 75 days after Buchner’s surgery to repair his AC joint and there’s a chance he’ll be back on the field and working for Notre Dame this season.
Freeman did not rule out the possibility that Buchner could play in the Notre Dame game in December or January.
“That still has to be determined,” Freeman said at his pre-USC press conference this week. “Our docs aren’t 100% sure right now. It will depend on how it progresses over the next couple of weeks.”
The possibility of Buchner’s return came up before Notre Dame’s game against Boston College when Freeman indicated that the sophomore was doing some light work in practice with the team.
Freeman said of Buechner: “He’s training to do some odd things. He’s not wearing pads and things like that, but he’s involved in parts of training and then in other parts of training he’s still doing some rehab.”
Buchner started Notre Dame’s first two games of the season against Ohio State and Marshall. He was 28-for-50 for 378 yards with no touchdown passes and two interceptions. He also ran the ball for 62 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. His injury came on a late scramble against Marshall.
Freeman noted: “He’s training more. Obviously there’s no contact with him. And so we’ll see. If that’s what’s best for him and he can get full and be able to be healthy and protect himself, get ready for a ball game and then don’t hesitate and give that chance, but This has not yet been determined.”
Since Buchner has only played in two games this season, he would still maintain eligibility for a year even if he played in a Notre Dame football game. He played 10 games, all off the bench, as a true freshman in 2021.
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