Woods has been fitted for a custom ankle brace that he will wear for the 2012 season. The Orange Country Register reported on the brace saying,
The purpose of the brace is to prevent the bone-on-bone rubbing in Woods’ ankle that has caused lingering inflammation. The training staff would like Woods to wear it all season long.
The concerning piece in this entire statement is the "bone-on-bone" rubbing. This could mean the cartilage has worn away. It could also mean that there is a potential for arthritis in the ankle. Needless to say, this is much worse than what has been previously reported regarding Woods.
Is Robert Woods' ankle any reason for concern for 2012?
Since injuring his ankle in April of 2011 playing basketball, Woods has continued to play exceptionally well. He played every game last season and even set the school and conference records with 111 receptions. However, the receiver did have surgery in December. Woods hoped to be able to participate in spring practice but was unable due to inflammation.
Regardless, many have remained extremely optimistic over Woods' ankle. After all, 2011 was impressive. Even at 80 percent, Woods is a rock star. However, if this injury proves to be worse than originally thought, it could result in a huge void for USC to fill.
It is anyone's guess how healthy Woods will be by season start, but Trojan fans remain optimistic. The ankle brace is not comforting, but the star receiver has worked through pain before. He may just have to do it again in 2012.