Alexander Smith looks to be nearing a return in the Wisconsin secondary. A hamstring injury has sidelined Smith for the Badgers’ first five games.

He was upgraded to active for Saturday’s game against Northwestern but only for emergency situations, Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Smith had been performing well throughout the offseason before the injury, and he was expected to be one of the top corners on the roster heading into preseason camp.

He has appeared in 36 games in his career with the Badgers with two starts, but has made significant strides according to interim head coach Jim Leonhard.

Smith has said he plans to play in this week’s matchup with Michigan State, and his return will be anticipated inside and outside of the program.