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There’s “Good” News and Bad News For USC’s Lattimore

Yesterday afternoon, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier gave the word that star running back Marcus Lattimore had suffered a dislocated knee cap and that his season was finished.  Then, last evening, the school released a statement of its own.  Like Spurrier, the release sounded somewhat optimistic that Lattimore might play football again.  (And if you’ve seen video of the injury you know that Lattimore’s football future is clearly up for debate.)

Here’s the release:

 

University of South Carolina junior running back Marcus Lattimore suffered a significant impact to the front of his right knee during the Tennessee game on Saturday. The ensuing hyperextension of the knee resulted in injury to several ligaments. There were no fractures or additional injuries, according to team physician Dr. Jeffrey Guy. Lattimore’s surgically repaired left knee was uninjured during the play.

Lattimore is resting comfortably and will continue to be evaluated over the course of the week. Marcus has already begun the process of prehabilitation prior to surgery and to his eventual return to football.

Lattimore, a six-foot, 212-pounder from Duncan, S.C., was injured late in the second quarter of the Gamecocks’ 38-35 win over Tennessee. Prior to the injury, he gained 65 yards on 11 carries, including a 28-yard touchdown run, against the Vols.

Lattimore was the Gamecocks’ leading rusher this season, gaining 662 yards on 143 carries (4.6 yards per carry), with a team-leading 11 touchdowns. He was also the top receiver with 26 catches for 173 yards. He was coming off a season-ending left knee injury suffered against Mississippi State in the seventh game of the 2011 campaign.

For his career, Lattimore has rushed 555 times (fourth in school history) for 2,677 yards (sixth in school history) with 41 total touchdowns including 38 rushing touchdowns, both school records.

 

The bad news is that a great player will have to rehab himself from a second knee injury in two years… that the star will someday enter the NFL draft with scars on both knees which could cost him a lot of money… and that South Carolina will have to soldier on without their best offensive weapon, just as it did last year.

The “good” news is that Lattimore’s career isn’t necessarily finished and that there were no further injuries to the leg other than the damage to “several ligaments.”  It’s a bad, sad story when that’s the good news.

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