Bowman to be back for Penn State's D

Updated: September 22, 2009, 2:41 PM ET
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com

Fifth-ranked Penn State should have at least one of its two standout outside linebackers on the field for Saturday's Big Ten opener against Iowa (ABC, 8 p.m. ET).

While senior Sean Lee missed Monday's practice with a sprained knee, junior Navorro Bowman returned and went through the workout. Bowman, a first-team All-Big Ten selection last year who led Penn State (3-0) with 106 tackles, has missed the last two games with a groin injury sustained in the season opener against Akron.

"Navorro's back in the lineup as of [Monday]," Nittany Lions middle linebacker Josh Hull said Tuesday morning. "He looked real good, he looked fast, changed directions well. He's going to be ready for Saturday."

Both Bowman and Lee are listed as "possible" on Penn State's injury report for Iowa. Lee sprained his left knee last week against Temple and left the game in the fourth quarter.

Lee's prognosis to play isn't as positive as Bowman's.

"We're not sure about Sean," coach Joe Paterno said. "He's got a knee problem. They consider it a sprain and it's a day-by-day thing. It's doubtful whether he'll be ready to go Saturday. But he's a tough kid and he wants to play badly, he may be ready to swing it."

The senior leads Penn State in both tackles (32) and tackles for loss (7.5).

"They might have to chain him to the bench," Hull said. "His status is still in the air right now. ... He did not practice [Monday] and we'll leave it at that."

Hull expects Bowman to start and be at or near full strength for Iowa.

"It's going to be exciting to have Navorro out there again," Hull said. "It brings some leadership back in the huddle. He's a real explosive kid who can make a big play at any point in the game, so we're really looking forward to having that back."

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com

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