Michigan State fans got some rare good injury news from Mark Dantonio on Monday. The Spartans coached announced that cornerback Darian Hicks will return well in time for the regular season opener.

Hicks was held out of the first part of fall camp because of mononucleosis. Michigan State’s most experienced cornerback was expected to solidify the defensive backfield following the departures of Kurtis Drummond and Trae Waynes.

Michigan State’s defense suffered a major loss last week with the news that linebacker Ed Davis would miss all of 2015 with a new injury. According to Dantonio, true freshman linebacker Andrew Dowell will see action in his first season in East Lansing.

Harlon Barnett and Mike Tressel will enter their first season as co-defensive coordinators following the departure of Pat Narduzzi, who left MSU to take over at Pitt.