It was known that Pharaoh Brown had sustained a very significant leg injury this past November. Until now, however, it wasn’t really known just how serious it actually was.
In a 24-point win over Utah, Brown sustained an injury serious enough that it kept him hospitalized in Salty Lake City for nearly a week, prompting a visit from the opposing head coach.
In an interview with The Oregonian a month removed from a third surgery on his leg, Brown revealed that doctors were mere hours away from amputating the leg below his right knee. Brown also revealed that he sustained no broken bones; however, the paper writes, “[w]hat left him in the ICU of the University of Utah Hospital, however, was a stretched artery in his leg that caused internal bleeding and cut off blood flow below his right shin.”
The injury, which also consisted of a pair of torn ligaments, was of the non-contact variety. It was the arterial damage, though, that nearly led to the amputation. From the paper:
He expected to join his teammates back in Eugene the following day, believing the diagnosis was limited to ligament damage. In the early morning hours, a doctor burst into his hospital room — Brown remembers his message being so urgent that the doctor didn’t even introduce himself — to brief the tight end on the artery’s precarious condition. If not corrected soon, amputation was likely, he said he was told. Brown called an Oregon medical staffer to share the news and the recommendation came quickly: Get surgery.
“That just shocked me,” Brown said. “Once he said I wasn’t going to be able to walk or run again I was like, all right.”
Despite the significance of the injury, Brown is on the road to recovery. He’s able to ride a stationary bike as well as jog lightly on an underwater treadmill.
Will he able, though, to play when the 2015 season kicks off? That’s the great unknown.
“People ask me am I going to play, am I going to redshirt,” he said. “I mean, this is a career decision, so I want to make sure my stuff is fully healed, that I can do everything and not rush back. That’s why I don’t even look that long out. If I’m able to play, I’ll play. If I’m not, I’m not.
“I’m not getting out there till I’m 100 percent healed and not only 100 percent healed but 100 percent in my mind that I’m healed. A lot of people get out there and are timid to cut. When I’m on the football field, I’m a different guy and I only know how to play one way — that’s fast. I play hard, real nasty. I can’t take it soft. I know how I play and how I gotta be to play at that level.”