Knee injury slowing down kick return specialist

Updated: August 22, 2003, 1:58 PM ET

BOULDER, Colo. -- A knee injury and offseason skiing are slowing Jeremy Bloom's preparations for a second season returning kicks for the Colorado Buffaloes.

Bloom suffered a minor knee injury last winter while skiing on the World Cup tour, and missed team conditioning workouts. Then he hurt his other knee during football workouts. He has taken some days off to rest the knee.

The speedy Bloom, who returned a pair of punts for touchdowns and caught a scoring pass last season, could wind up returning both punts and kickoffs this fall. Coach Gary Barnett said the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Bloom was among five players being scrutinized for that duty.

"It's an exciting opportunity. I want to, first and foremost, help this team. But secondly, I want to be on the field as much as I can," said Bloom.

Bloom, an Olympic skier, is campaigning for state-by-state legislation to bring new benefits to college athletes. He has also sued the NCAA to overturn long-standing rules for amateur athletes.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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