Kelley Cain hasn't charged headlong back onto the Pratt Pavilion court.
After two seasons worth of multiple knee surgeries and multiple concussions, the Tennessee women's basketball center is proceeding through individual workouts at a more practical pace.
"The confidence is coming back day by day,'' the 6-foot-6 redshirt sophomore said. "I'm not rushing into anything."
Cain had surgical screws removed from her right knee in early April. She said that her summer work was confined primarily to "rehab, rehab, rehab, rehab." She was able to do some cardiovascular work but didn't start running until the beginning of school.
She reports her knee, on which she had surgery to correct patella subluxation in December of 2007, is doing much better.
"It's working,'' Cain said. "Every now and then I might have pain but it's not as bad as it used to be."
As for the latest concussion, it occurred in a non-basketball-related incident a few weeks ago. Nobody has offered any specifics. Cain is back to being fully engaged in the on-court work, which progresses to weekly full-team workouts Thursday.
Until the start of official practice next month, Cain intends to concentrate on her conditioning, not her medical history.
"I'm looking at the positive side of everything,'' she said.
Sizing Up Spani: Taber Spani's career scoring and rebounding totals from high school stack up pretty well nationally.
The UT freshman, who was home-schooled and played for Metro Academy in Olathe, Kan., is the only girls' player to be ranked in the top 10 for scoring (4,113 points, seventh) and rebounding (1,758, ninth).
Notebook: Texas Tech freshman post player Shauntal Nobles is out for the season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon. UT plays Tech on Nov. 17 in San Antonio. ... Recruits Lauren Avant and Meighan Simmons are scheduled to visit the weekend of Oct. 2. Avant already is verbally committed to UT ... ESPN football analyst Todd Blackledge visited individual workouts Thursday to see Spani. Blackledge played with Spani's father, Gary, with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs 1983-87.
writer Dan Fleisher