Cole practices without knee brace

Iowa sophomore Jarryd Cole now is practicing without a knee brace. And that’s good news for Iowa.

Wednesday’s practice was the second for Cole without the brace, which stabilized his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament last December.

“The doc cleared me from wearing one,” said Cole, a sophomore from North Kansas City, Mo. “He allowed me to wear it whenever I see fit. He knows I’m going to have good days and bad days, and he left it up to my judgment. I’m grateful for that, and I’m glad he trusts me to take care of my knee. So I’m going to do the best I can to listen to it whenever I need it. I’ll put it on when I need it, and I take if off when I don’t.”

Cole is a rising star for Iowa despite playing in only 13 games last year and starting six. He was named a team captain along with Cyrus Tate and is working at the center position this year.

Cole, who stands 6-foot-7, said his knee still gets sore and he ices and rests it daily. He’s being rational with his brace and said he wouldn’t hesitate to put it back on if needed.

“With the brace on it reminds me that I need to be cautious,” Cole said. “So without it, it’s less of a mind game; it’s a lot more physical. I don’t have to worry about hitting my teammates with the brace. I don’t have to worry about anybody else’s injury due to my mistakes.”

Cole’s teammates said he’s returned to his pre-injury form. He averaged 6.6 points and 4.8 rebounds a game last year before his knee injury.

“Jarryd has worked very hard this whole offseason,” Iowa guard Jeff Peterson said. “I think he definitely has his explosiveness, which was one of his greatest assets, in my opinion, so that helps us a lot.”

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