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NDSU DT Gratzek to play against Indiana St.

FARGO -- The pulse of the North Dakota State defense is breathing again. Head coach Craig Bohl said Thursday that senior Matt Gratzek will play Saturday against Indiana State.

FARGO -- The pulse of the North Dakota State defense is breathing again. Head coach Craig Bohl said Thursday that senior Matt Gratzek will play Saturday against Indiana State.

The defensive tackle has been out the last two games after suffering meniscus damage to his knee against Western Illinois. He underwent a surgical procedure and has already practiced this week.

"It's going to help at least having his presence back," Bohl said. "He may not be the same player before he was injured, but he's certainly going to help. He's one of the team leaders on the field and that makes a difference."

Bohl calls Gratzek one of the most dominant defensive linemen in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. He had 22 tackles, four for lost yardage, three quarterback sacks and five quarterback hurries in five games.

The Bison have struggled with run defense the last two games without him. Illinois State had two running backs eclipse 100 yards last week.

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Bohl said it's difficult to put a percentage on the health of Gratzek's knee, but estimated it somewhere around 90 percent.

"There's a significant difference between 92 and 98 percent," he said. "But he's definitely functional."

Kolpack is a sports reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.

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