Dontre Wilson is on the mend from January foot surgery as Ohio State goes through spring practices, but receivers coach Zach Smith said yesterday he's counting on the hybrid back being ready when preseason camp begins in August.

Dontre Wilson is on the mend from January foot surgery as Ohio State goes through spring practices, but receivers coach Zach Smith said yesterday he's counting on the hybrid back being ready when preseason camp begins in August.

"I feel great about it now because he got the surgery, it looks great, it's healing great," Smith said. "And we're sticking to the plan so he can be healthy by fall."

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The surgery in January was the second on Wilson's right foot. He suffered a fractured metatarsal in a victory at Michigan State on Nov. 8 and had immediate surgery to set it. He didn't see action again until the national championship victory over Oregon, and that was in more or less ceremonial mop-up duty.

"We kind of knew going down the stretch toward the end that Dontre was probably going to need another surgery," Smith said. "It didn't heal great."

Wilson told reporters before the Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama and before the game against Oregon that he was ready to play and expected to do so.

"He was able to go, but he was (also) one play away from rebreaking it, so we were very tentative about putting him in a game," Smith said.

Making a splash

Wilson is joined each day in rehabilitation this spring by a group of other capable OSU receivers that includes Michael Thomas (sports hernia surgery last week), Johnnie Dixon (chronic knee problems) and James Clark (knee). But it's not as if it's the kick-back life for any of them.

"They do a lot of ball drills, ball skills, development things," Smith said. "And even when they're in rehab, when they're on the underwater treadmill, running, getting their cardio in, they're not just running on the treadmill. They're catching balls as they do it.

"So we have a very detailed plan for injured guys who can't necessarily get the work on the field, which is kind of a specialized rehab treatment program for them."

Maybe next week

Much anticipated this spring was the re-emergence of defensive back Marshon Lattimore, one of the elite members of OSU's 2014 recruiting class before a chronic hamstring pull necessitated surgery in preseason last year. That might come next week, cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs said.

"We're hoping next week Marshon can do some full-speed, live stuff (for the first time this spring)," Coombs said. "So it's going to be a big week for him."

tmay@dispatch.com

@TIM_MAYsports