Whether Marcus Lattimore can return from a devastating knee injury, one that involved a dislocated right knee and severe damage to several ligaments in the joint, remains clouded in uncertainty despite optimism on all fronts.
If the running back does indeed return to the playing field, though, the comeback could very well commence in Columbia.
At a rally for what was officially designated “Marcus Lattimore Day” in the state of South Carolina, Steve Spurrier proclaimed that the back, in a text message, said he wasn’t done playing for the Gamecocks.
“The message he gave me was, `I’ll be back,’” Spurrier said. “So he’s coming back.”
The Ol’ Ball Coach punctuated that message with a “can’t wait until that [number] 21 is playing out there at Williams-Brice real soon.”
Unfortunately, real soon doesn’t seem likely. While USC’s team doctor confirmed there’s a chance Lattimore could return in 2013, there’s also the very real possibility he won’t return until 2014. Optimism aside, there also exists the possibility that, given the extent of the damage, the resumption of a football career may not be physically possible.
Another possibility? During the course of what’s expected to an extensive and grueling rehabilitation process, Lattimore could decide to make his return at the NFL level.
Still, the fact that the current chatter in the immediacy of such a horrific injury is a return to the playing field — and the fact that Lattimore has already returned from a torn ACL in his left knee — bodes well for a player who, by all accounts, is the type of class individual who deserves something positive to come out of such an unimaginable development.