Maresh's dad expects him to play this spring

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The father of Minnesota linebacker recruit Sam Maresh thinks his son will be ready for spring ball despite a benign tumor in his left calf.

According to a message posted by Bill Maresh this morning on the family's CaringBridge.org Web site, surgery will be the last option for Sam, who learned last week that the tumor is not cancerous. Doctors are discussing alternatives with Maresh, who recently began experiencing pain in his leg while training. Bill Maresh's message reads.

He will play and I believe he will play spring ball. This will allow two things. First: To put the pads on and get back to the game he loves. Second: It will help him make the decision if the last resort of surgery is necessary.

Maresh, a heralded prospect in Minnesota's nationally ranked 2008 recruiting class, underwent heart surgery in June to repair his aortic valve. He made a remarkably quick recovery and was on schedule to return for spring practice before doctors discovered the tumor.

Minnesota opens spring practice March 24.