An early Christmas present was delivered to the University of Iowa football program on Wednesday.

The NCAA approved a medical hardship waiver and granted Iowa wide receiver Matt VandeBerg a fifth year of eligibility, meaning he will officially return to the Iowa football team for the 2017 season.

Vandeberg was Iowa's leading receiver before sustaining a season-ending foot injury during practice in late September.

In a press release from University of Iowa Sports Information, Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said, "We are excited to receive the official news on Matt returning for the 2017 season. Matt is a veteran and a proven leader. His presence within our program, both on and off the field, for the next year will be a valuable addition."

Iowa opens the 2017 season against Wyoming September 2 at Kinnick Stadium.

[VIA HawkeyeSports]