He's yet to play a game for the Detroit Lions, but running back Mikel Leshoure is probably the most-anticipated Lions player entering 2012 -- well, when you take out the usual suspects, of course.

The former Illinois Illini star was an absolute monster in college. Although he was taken after former Alabama star Mark Ingram in the 2011 NFL Draft, I viewed him as the best back available.

Injuries and off-the-field issues have clouded Leshoure's debut with Detroit. However, the second-year Lions ball carrier could soon be on the practice field.

"Hopefully," Leshoure told MLive.com's Anwar Richardson. "I'm starting to run now. You never know how these days go, but I hope to get back on the field next week," later adding: ""I'm definitely ready to get out there, but I know injuries are part of the game. It's all about taking your time and healing right. It's a long season. I'll be out there when I get out there."

After suffering an Achilles' injury, Leshoure is the midst of battling a torn hamstring. Both of those injuries are clear and present danger when it comes to running the ball. Or walking. Or doing anytyhing else, for that matter.

Leshoure's presence would give the Lions a sturdy option in the backfield. Jahvid Best's return to the Lions is in doubt. Leshoure is obviously the best option, although his return is shaky, too.

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