After spending Sunday in a hospital bed, Marcus Lattimore is sure to be in full recovery mode today. It is Lattimore's 21st birthday, and a lot of people in Columbia, S.C. are making sure it is a good one.
What appeared to be a career-ending injury was reported as a dislocated knee and damaged knee ligaments by the South Carolina Athletics Department on Sunday. Although it isn’t good news, it is better than the broken bone rumors that were swirling around Twitter and other social media outlets on Saturday.
Shortly after the injury, fans and fellow athletes from across the country offered support to Lattimore. South Carolina fans have continued to provide support to the young back in a number of ways, but the most touching is his birthday celebration.
Today is Lattimore’s 21st birthday and South Carolina fans and students have put together a birthday rally in front of McMissick Museum on the South Carolina campus starting at 5 p.m. ET, according to a report from WLTX in Columbia, S.C.
This is a Twitter post that shows the giant birthday card signed by fans and students at South Carolina:
Fellow students at South Carolina have also poured out support on Twitter, and some are making plans to attend the birthday party for Lattimore.
Who's going to the Horseshoe at 5 to support Marcus Lattimore?— Daniel Phan (@DP_USC) October 29, 2012
I love Marcus Lattimore. ❤🐔#PrayForLattimore— Kendra Holcombe (@kholcombe03) October 29, 2012
Whose going to the Lattimore party on the horseshoe?!— Courtney Charroux (@caa10) October 29, 2012
Gov. Haley designated Monday as Marcus Lattimore Day in South Carolina - bit.ly/RsnIQD— WSPA 7 On Your Side (@wspa7onyourside) October 29, 2012
A “Get Well, Marcus!” message board has been assembled on the South Carolina Athletics website that allows for fans post messages for the star running back.
A "Pray for Marcus Lattimore" Facebook page has also been created, landing more than 68,000 "likes" through Monday afternoon.
There isn’t a doubt that Lattimore made the right move by choosing to attend South Carolina. The support by the administration and fans through this tough time is touching to say the least.
It will be a tough road back to playing shape for the ball-carrier, but it has been done before. Willis McGahee had a similar injury in 2003 when he tore all three major knee ligaments, but he returned to the game after missing one season and is still playing for the Denver Broncos.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Steve Spurrier said “I did not get that kind of report" when asked if the injury was similar to McGahee’s. That should be a good sign. Spurrier went on to say that despite reports from team doctor Jeff Guy that Lattimore could return in 2013, “There could be a chance it could be two years down the road."
No matter the timetable for the return, the fact that it is possible is amazing when looking at the video from the injury.
It has been a touching display of hope and support that has surrounded Lattimore after this injury. There are no doubts that he is one of South Carolina’s favorite sons.