A few weeks ago, Chris Galippo stopped to do an interview after a workout on the USC campus and talked about how he wanted to get better physically.
"I've been missing out on so much since I've been here with being hurt and not being able to lift and run and all that stuff," he said. "This is my first true offseason.
"This is a big deal for me."
Within a week, he was out with mononucleosis.
Tuesday, Galippo was back on the field, going through conditioning drills with Trojan coaches, and he said he's feeling much better.
"I'm feeling good. Everything is back, and I'm pretty healthy. I lost around eight pounds — nothing too much," he said. "And, I was surprised I didn't lose more ground with conditioning. There's not been too much of a drop off."
Galippo's most recent setback came as a surprise to him, with minor symptoms leading to a relatively serious illness.
"I had a minor case. I wasn't very contagious. I didn't have a ton of symptoms. My throat hurt, but I wasn't really tired," he said. "I had an appetite, which is rare. I just took a blood test and it came back positive.
"It wasn't like I was on my deathbed."
But, the illness did shock the system a little and left Galippo questioning whether he'd ever end up on the right side of luck.
"I wondered if I could ever catch a break," he said.
But in a way, he did.
The timing of the illness, it turns out, couldn't have been better. He only missed one week of school and two weeks of workouts, and with spring break falling last week, he had time to get back in the swing of things by the start of USC's spring practices.
"I'd rather get it out of the way now. It's better that happened now than in August," he said. "All last week, I was able to catch up and get some workouts in.
"It was only two weeks that I missed. Coming back here, there was a little huffing and puffing, but these next few days should get me to 100 percent for Saturday."
The only remaining hurdle is a visit to the doctor on Wednesday, but Galippo isn't expecting any more setbacks.
"The spleen can enlarge and rupture if it gets hit, but it shouldn't be an issue," he said. "I'm getting an ultrasound (Wednesday), and I should be all good to go — hopefully."