In the 2017 season opener, Kirk Johnson finally made it back into game action for the Texas Longhorns, playing on special teams after rehabbing following knee surgery and a hamstring issue during preseason camp.
He had missed the entire 2016 season due to injury.
The return was short lived, however, as Johnson didn’t appear in another game for the Longhorns last season, though he was on the field warming up with the team before the Kansas State game.
In November, Johnson apparently underwent surgery that kept him from walking for more than six weeks:
Since then, Johnson’s been hard at work in the weight room building his upper body until he was able to walk for the first time this week:
Can’t walk but still gettin that work! #R2G pic.twitter.com/mELteuK4F2— Captin'Kirk (@KirkoGrinds) January 10, 2018
Griind Hard then look in the mirror and enjoy the results! #gains pic.twitter.com/RvSZOi1mSy— Captin'Kirk (@KirkoGrinds) January 17, 2018
First Time Walking since Surgery! Gotta keep Grindiin! #hookem pic.twitter.com/a8CaptxCgO— Captin'Kirk (@KirkoGrinds) January 18, 2018
Now a redshirt junior, Johnson still hopes to get back on the field for Texas this fall.
In limited appearances, the 6’0, 210-pounder has flashed his potential at times, breaking off a 32-yard run against Texas Tech in 2015 and recovering two fumbles on special teams that season before he needed surgery twice for meniscus tears.
The desire to play clearly remains for Johnson, who was known for pushing hard through injuries under the previous staff, but the bigger question is whether his body can hold up well enough to let him see the field again.