September 22, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore (21) before the game against the Missouri Tigers at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-US PRESSWIRE

Marcus Lattimore Injury Update & Outpouring for Athletes

The latest update on Marcus Lattimore’s knee injury suffered Saturday against Tennessee is that all four major ligaments in his right knee (MCL, ACL, PCL and LCL) were torn. However, the good news and contrary to some initial, erroneous reports is that no bones were broken.

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier told reporters on Sunday that Lattimore could be sidelined until 2014 while undergoing major rehabilitation for a second time. Spurrier said Lattimore’s attitude was positive — no surprise, based on accounts of the junior running back’s general, overall demeanor and his having already once battled back from a devastating injury once ahead of schedule.

“”We’re optimistic his football days are ahead of him,” Spurrier said.

Odds are stacked against Lattimore, but Jake Curtis of The San Francisco Chronicle points out that the injury Lattimore suffered on Saturday is very similar to that Willis McGahee sustained in the 2003 BCS championship game. Then a star at Miami, McGahee spent over a year rehabbing and debuted for the Buffalo Bills in 2004. McGahee has spent nearly a decade in the NFL, currently starting for the Denver Broncos.

Lattimore could similarly use his rehabilitation time to prepare for the NFL, should a franchise be willing to take a flyer on him. Returning to South Carolina for 2014 might help his draft stock more. At this point, everything is on wait-and-see status. A certainty in this ordeal, though, is that millions are cheering for his successful return.

The outpouring exhibited in South Carolina teammates and Tennessee rivals circling around the fallen Lattimore is reflected in the reaction of fans nationwide. Readers of sounded off, expressing tremendous support for a young man who already once overcame tremendous adversity.

Others from the college gridiron face difficult circumstances, but are getting support from the football community.

Tulane safety Devon Walker suffered a horrific spinal cord injury last month against Tulsa. His long term health remains uncertain as he battles to walk again. Rice head Dave Bailiff issued a challenge to his Owl football players to help Walker with overwhelming medical bills, and they responded.

Tulane University is accepting donations to the Devon Walker Fund from anyone who wants to show their support.

Tags: Football Tulane Green Wave

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