The Washington Times - September 13, 2012, 02:44PM

Maryland linebacker Kenny Tate had pestered the Terrapins’ staff for a while now about finally returning to the field.

He missed the last eight games of 2011. He missed spring practice. He hasn’t played in the Terps’ first two games because of another knee injury.

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So when Tate went through individual drills Wednesday and looked sharp, coach Randy Edsall thought it might not be a bad idea for Tate to get some scout team work in, the start of a a de facto rehab assignment. Tate didn’t offer an objection.

“I wanted to for a couple weeks now,” he replied.

So a couple team periods later, Tate was on his way to perhaps returning for Maryland’s Sept. 22 game at West Virginia.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” Edsall said. “I think he has a real good chance to be ready to go – or at least see how he goes through a full practice next week.”

The return of the 2010 all-ACC safety would be a boost for the Terps, who got defensive end Keith Bowers back last week and are expected to have safety Matt Robinson and cornerback Isaac Goins available on Saturday against Connecticut.

Tate is out for that game, but it might be the last time his current knee ailment keeps him shelved.

“He didn’t have any kind of issues this morning,” Edsall said. “We’ll put him back out there and we’ll evaluate him come Sunday. He’ll dress and everything else for Saturday and travel and all that stuff.”

Patrick Stevens