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Wisconsin's Chris Borland ready to roll

Name a statistical category, and Chris Borland's name shows up for Wisconsin.

Tackles? Check. Sacks? Check. Interceptions? Check. Forced fumbles? Check plus (five last season, tied for second in Big Ten). Fumble recoveries? Check? Blocked kicks? Check. Kickoff returns? Check (seven). Punt returns? Check. Extra points? Check.

Extra points?

You read it right. Borland, a linebacker, converted three-extra point attempts in Wisconsin's rout of Hawaii. For his many contributions, Borland received the Big Ten Freshman of the Year Award.

Not bad for a guy who's shoulder popped out a couple times every game.

Borland played in 2009 with a torn labrum in his shoulder left over from high school. Although he used a brace, the shoulder would still pop out during games.

"From about the midpoint of the season, I knew I'd have to have surgery after the year," Borland said.

He underwent surgery after the Champs Sports Bowl and missed all of spring practice. Borland fully recovered by mid May and got his final clearance from team doctors in early June.

Sitting out the spring wasn't easy, especially for a do-everything player like Borland, but he didn't go through it alone. Running back John Clay (ankle) and linebacker Mike Taylor (knee), the man Borland replaced in the starting lineup midway through the 2009 season, both were on the shelf following surgeries.

"I'd be doing rehab and we'd all be in there together," Borland said. "It helps the morale. Both those guys had had surgeries in the past, and it was my first, so I was following their lead on how to do rehab and how to carry yourself. All of us being there at the same time helped one another.

"Those two guys are great competitors, and you can tell something's not right when they're not playing. They're excited to get back."

So is Borland, who set out to be a special teams contributor and a backup linebacker last year but ended up being so much more for the Badgers. Since being cleared in June, he has been testing out the shoulder.

And when Wisconsin opens preseason camp Aug. 9, he'll be ready.

"I've been hitting the sled, trying to emulate shedding a block, and hitting the heavy bag," he said. "It feels a lot better. The surgery definitely worked. I feel 100 percent, no complaints."