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Denard Robinson injury: Brady Hoke 'very optimistic' about possible return next week

Robinson is likely to return next week after missing his team's win over Minnesota with injury.

Bruce Thorson-US PRESSWIRE

Michigan Wolverines quarterback Devin Gardner played well in his place, but starter Denard Robinson could return as soon as next week, according to coach Brady Hoke.

Hoke told's Nick Baumgardner that he's "very optimistic" Robinson will return. Hoke had originally said earlier in the week that he thought Robinson would be able to play this week against Minnesota. Robinson's injured right elbow had improved, but not enough to play.

"It hadn't changed, but I'm an optimistic person," Hoke told MLive. "I thought it'd be a little better. It's better than it was, a lot better than it was. It's just a matter of healing all the way through."

Gardner, a junior who has played wide receiver this year despite being recruited as a quarterback, completed 12-of-18 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns to go along with one interception. Gardner also had 21 yards on the ground with a score. Michigan improved to 6-3 and 4-1 in the Big Ten with the win.