NORMAL - Three injured Illinois State football players returned to practice Wednesday and hope to play Saturday when the Redbirds meet Murray State in a 6 p.m. nonconference game at Murray, Ky.
All-America wide receiver Laurent Robinson, outside linebacker Kye Stewart and tight end Kedric Meredith, who are all battling sore ankles, took part in ISU's workout at Hancock Stadium.
"They are not at 100 percent, but they did practice," ISU coach Denver Johnson said. "We'll see how they feel (Thursday)and take them on the trip. We'll try to manage them all the way up to game time. It was certainly encouraging to get them back in practice."
Robinson caught nine passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns in the Redbirds' opener at Kansas State but has not played since.
"I made it to about period 17 (of 24) and it got a little sore on me. But I think I'll be ready for Saturday. That's what I'm shooting for," said Robinson. "I've been missing it too much. The offense has been doing good and the team is winning. It looks like they don't need me, but I still want to be out there."
Ranked No. 6 in Division I-AA, ISU is 2-1 entering its final nonconference game of the season at 1-2 Murray State.
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Stewart led the Redbirds with 27 tackles in two games before sitting out last week's win over Eastern Illinois.
Meredith shares time at the tight end position with Jeremy Joynt.