While the South Carolina Gamecocks may have escaped their tussle with the Tennessee Volunteers, their running back—Marcus Lattimore—was not as fortunate.
The junior was the victim of a brutal helmet to the knee from Tennessee’s Eric Gordon on a simple running play in the second quarter. He was carted off the field shortly after, and the school announced that the superstar was out “indefinitely” following the 38-35 victory.
UPDATE: Monday, October 29 at 3:41 p.m. ET by Richard Langford
Happy Birthday 21st birthday, Marcus Lattimore!
Lattimore likely had far different plans for his 21st birthday prior to his terrible injury, but at least he won't have to spend it at a hospital. ESPN's Travis Haney shares the news.
Bit of good news: Marcus Lattimore gets to spend his 21st birthday (today) at home. I'm told he was discharged from hospital Sunday evening.— Travis Haney (@TravHaneyESPN) October 29, 2012
UPDATE: Sunday, October 28 at 5:15 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos
Marcus Lattimore's gruesome knee injury did not result in any broken bones, but did cause damage to ligaments in the running back's knee.
Gamecocksonline.com reported the following regarding Lattimore's injury:
The ensuing hyperextension of the knee resulted in injury to several ligaments. There were no fractures or additional injuries, according to team physician Dr. Jeffery Guy. Lattimore's surgically repaired left knee was uninjured during the play.
The support for Lattimore has been overwhelming following the incident that forced him out of the game against Tennessee, and college football fans are all hoping that he makes a full recovery as quickly as possible.
---End of update---
UPDATE: Sunday, October 28 at 2:10 p.m. ET
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier spoke about Lattimore's injury during his weekly Sunday call.
Darryl Slater of The Post and Courier reported that the coach disclosed that his RB suffered a dislocated knee and recovery is expected to take “a while.”
Spurrier says Marcus Lattimore had a knee dislocation. "It's going to take a while obviously to recover and rehab this."— Darryl Slater (@DarrylSlater) October 28, 2012
Spurrier also noted that the star could conceivably not return until the 2014 season, as per the team doctor’s initial prognosis. The coach said Lattimore hasn’t spoken to him on whether he would like to return to the game or not as of this point in time.
Spurrier deferring questions on Sunday call to doctor and team trainer. Said team doc said could be a chance ML won't be back until 2014.— Darryl Slater (@DarrylSlater) October 28, 2012
What we are now sure of is that this injury isn't career-threatening, and if Lattimore has the will to do so, he can eventually return to football.
"The prognosis is he can come back and play," Spurrier said of message from doctor. "It's going to take some time, of course."— Darryl Slater (@DarrylSlater) October 28, 2012
We'll keep you updated with more on Lattimore and his gruesome injury as it breaks right here on B/R.
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UPDATE: Sunday, October 28 at 12:50 p.m. ET
According to Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com, sources close to the situation are saying that Lattimore suffered an injury similar to that of Willis McGahee, who infamously had his knee destroyed in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl as a member of the Miami Hurricanes.
The Denver Broncos star RB suffered damage to the ACL, PCL and MCL of his left knee in what would be the final game of his college career. He declared for the draft and was selected No. 23 overall despite having to undergo massive rehabilitation to get back into football shape.
While it's currently unknown if Lattimore suffered the exact same type of injury, it's being speculated that the recovery process could be quite similar.
We'll keep you updated here on B/R as soon as we know more.
---END OF UPDATE---
Brian VanOchten of TownSquareMedia.com is reporting that the RB tore all four ligaments in his knee (PCL, LCL, MCL, ACL) on top of suffering a broken femur:
The news on South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore is awful: Broken femur and all four knee ligaments torn. Such a shame.— Brian VanOchten (@BrianVanOchten) October 28, 2012
This news has not yet been confirmed by anyone with any relation to the South Carolina football program or Lattimore and should not be considered official, but the injury certainly looks that bad.
The ‘Cocks will likely be without one of their best players for the second time in as many seasons. Lattimore missed the second half of 2011 with ligament tears in his left knee—which is, fortunately, not the same one that was just busted up by a helmet hit.
In a touching show of sportsmanship, both sidelines emptied onto the field and huddled around the badly injured back. They wished him well before he was sent to the locker room—and eventually the hospital.
Prior to incident, Lattimore had racked up 65 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries in the game. It put his season totals at 143 rushes for 662 yards and 11 touchdowns—numbers that likely won’t change again in 2012.
It’s far from certain that the Duncan, S.C., native even steps back on a football field in his life.
He was once a pro prospect who carried for 1,197 yards and 17 touchdowns (his freshman season). But now he has the daunting challenge of coming back from a second straight brutal knee injury.
We wish him the best of luck and to one day see him plowing over defenders for the Gamecocks again, but we would settle for just seeing him live out the rest of his days in good health.
We’ll keep you updated right here on B/R with any more news, information, updates, opinions and analysis on Lattimore and the devastating damage to his knee.