The Washington Times - November 10, 2009, 07:53PM

Maryland linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield was back at practice today, working in a noncontact jersey just as coach Ralph Friedgen earlier in the day.

Hartsfield underwent surgery on a broken left hand on Oct. 18, and it seemed he wouldn’t be back on the field until the Nov. 21 date with Florida State.

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But the redshirt freshman appears headed to playing Saturday when the Terrapins play Virginia Tech.

“The one thing that he showed when he was not healthy and he had the opportunity to play in the Virginia game, he played, and it really had little to no impact in terms of the quality of his tackling,” defensive coordinator Don Brown said. “Now he has a hand that’s healed, obviously it’s still bandaged up, but I don’t have any fear that he’s going to run around and be timid with that hand. I think if it was going to show, it would have showed the week we let him play prior to surgery.”

First of all, it’s no wonder Hartsfield wouldn’t play timid. He’s basically carrying around a big honking club at the end of his arm.

More significantly, it appears the Terps will get away with only going without their starting weak-side linebacker for two games. Considering how well Ben Pooler has played the last few weeks, Hartsfield’s injury probably didn’t turn out to be as damaging as some of the other ailments this season.

Patrick Stevens