It’s bad enough when a player goes down with a torn ACL this late in the season. Suffering such an injury at this point in time invariably knocks the player out of spring practice the following year, as well as affecting at least to some degree the summer camp ahead of the next season.
But when that players tears an ACL… and an MCL… and ruptures the patellar tendon in the same knee at the same time? That’s an unprecedented situation for which there’s not really an ill-defined road map let alone a well-defined one.
Yet that’s where Henry Josey finds himself this morning. The talented Missouri running back suffered the devastating injury in the win over Texas Saturday, and underwent surgery Sunday. That five-hour procedure “only” repaired the patellar tendon, MCL and meniscus; the torn ACL won’t be repaired for another three months or so, meaning he definitely will not be available for spring practice and puts his availability for all or part of the 2012 season very much in doubt.
The surgeon who performed the procedure seemed stunned at both how the injury happened as well as the amount of damage in Josey’s knee.
“It’s a tragic fluke, a one-in-a-million type of injury, and, unfortunately, to a guy who is so gifted with speed and mobility and agility,” Dr. Pat Smith, Mizzou athletics head physician, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “You don’t see this. In 26 years, I’ve never seen this. …
“Certainly, this is going to be a real challenge. We don’t have a blueprint for saying, ‘Oh, these three guys had this.’ I don’t know of anybody who’s had it.”
It should be stressed that there’s no prognosis, good or bad, on Josey’s status for the 2012 season; that likely won’t be decided until spring begins to give way to summer, if then. In the here and now, however, it’s a devastating blow to the Tigers both on and off the field.
“Losing a guy like that,” receiver T.J. Moe said, “it’s like a shot to the heart.”
At the time of the injury, Josey was fifth in the country averaging 127.7 yards rushing per game, while his 8.6 yards per attempt were good for second behind Houston’s Charles Sims (8.8).