Iowa's Falck, Beatty on road to recovery
Andy Hamilton ? Iowa City Press-Citizen ? January 6, 2009

Charlie Falck spent the majority of his Monday afternoon workout going through the tedious task of building a sweat in a controlled drilling session.

It's the type of wrestling activity that Iowa's 125-pounder normally doesn't enjoy, but Falck didn't seem to mind it Monday compared to what came next -- a strenuous set of sprints on a stationary bike that lasted long after his teammates had left the practice room.

"That's hell," Falck said. "When I hurt my shoulder and broke my foot (in 2005), I did it for a year. That was enough for me. Then to be back on it, it's only been four days on it, but that's enough for me. You watch everybody drilling, and I'm not big on drilling either, but I would go four hours straight if I could just get off the bike."

Falck is making progress toward getting off the bike and back on the mat on a full-time basis. One week after the second-ranked senior sustained a sprained ankle that knocked him out of the Midlands Championships, Falck said he's making daily progress in his quest to rejoin the Iowa lineup.

The Hawkeyes are hopeful he'll feel good enough by the end of the week to compete Saturday when they open the NWCA National Duals at 9 a.m. against Wyoming at the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls. A victory against the Cowboys would set top-seeded Iowa up for an afternoon quarterfinal meeting eighth-seeded Minnesota or Buffalo.

The Hawkeyes (10-0) haven't had their full lineup together since Nov. 29 when they swept through the Brute/Journeymen Northeast Duals in Albany, N.Y. Junior 197-pounder Chad Beatty sustained a knee injury that day in Iowa's victory against Central Michigan and could make his return this weekend.

"They have all those fancy words in professional football -- questionable, probable, day-to-day," Iowa coach Tom Brands said. "I'd say (Beatty and Falck are) probable. That's what I'd say. (Beatty) is very probable and Charlie is probable."

Falck suffered the injury in the Midlands quarterfinals when he rolled his ankle while taking a shot against Clarion's Jay Ivanco.

"It just went pop, pop, pop," he said. "I was feeling my leg right when it happened; I thought a bone was sticking out or something. I had never experienced anything like it. I don't think I've ever really sprained my ankle before."

Falck, a two-time All-American, won his first 13 matches of the season before defaulting against Ivanco.

Redshirt freshman J.J. Krutsinger (7-4) would be next in line for the Hawkeyes at 125 if Falck is unable to wrestle.

"I feel good, as good as I can," Falck said. "It's kind of a day-by-day thing. If they need me to go and I feel healthy, I'll go, there's no question about that. But we've got to be smart about it, and we will be."

The Hawkeyes have taken a cautious approach with Beatty, holding him out in duals against Iowa State and Northern Iowa and at the Midlands.

"I feel 100 percent; it's just up to the coaches," he said. "In my mind, I'm expecting to wrestle, it's just up to them.

"I'm antsy. It was kind of teasing me a little bit. I had five matches and got hurt. I kind of got a taste of it and had to back off. That kind of bugs me, but I can't get in those positions where I can get hurt."

Beatty said the rehabilitation process has been educational.

"I've learned a lot," he said of his recent work with the Iowa coaches. "I've been working positions, leg attacks, leg offense from bad positions, from good positions and getting mentally tough. That's what our whole team has been trying to do. This training phase is (about) trying to get tougher, trying to get another edge. I'm loving the process."

Reach Andy Hamilton at 339-7368 or