Mohamed Ibrahim shocked nearly everyone when he decided to return to Minnesota for the 2022 season. After suffering a season-ending injury the opener against Ohio State last fall, many believed the former B1G Running Back of the Year would move on to the professional ranks.

Ibrahim will be back on the field for the Golden Gophers this year, though, giving the team a chance to have a special season. But how is the running back recovering from the Achilles injury sustained last year?

Head coach PJ Fleck shed some light on that, saying he will be taking part in non-padded practices this week. He will also take part in pre-dawn workouts separate from the team as he observes Ramadan.

According to Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press, Fleck says Ibrahim will not see “true contact” until Minnesota takes part in fall camp.

The risk outweighs the reward when it comes to Ibrahim’s spring participation, anyway. Fleck and offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca know exactly what the star back brings to the turf so there’s really no point to risk further injury.

It will also allow Minnesota to develop more running backs to build depth heading into the 2022 season.

Ibrahim was named the B1G Running Back of the Year following an impressive 2020 campaign. That year, he rushed for 1,076 yards and 15 touchdowns during the pandemic-shortened campaign.

For his career with the Gophers, Ibrahim has rushed for 3,003 yards and 33 touchdowns.