Friday, April 25, 2008
Hillsdale Quarterback Eager to Return from Injury
Hillsdale quarterback eager to return from injury
Friday, April 25, 2008
By Howie Beardsley
The Grand Rapids Press
Troy Weatherhead was not about to watch his 2008 football season at Hillsdale College flash before his eyes before it even had a chance to begin.
Not without a second opinion.
Weatherhead is the gun-slinging quarterback and redshirt freshman from Comstock Park. He spent Hillsdale's spring sessions as the Chargers' No. 1 quarterback and, consequently, as the heir apparent to NCAA Division II All-American Mark Nicolet.
On April 8, a defensive lineman was blocked into Weatherhead's knee during a scrimmage. An MRI shows he damaged the anterior cruciate ligament and, worse yet, the medial collateral ligament.
"It was originally thought, from the first MRI readings, that I partially tore the ACL and totally tore the MCL, meaning I was done," said the 6-foot-3, 208-pound Weatherhead.
"I was pretty down. It was like the opportunity I've waited two years for was taken away from me before it was given to me. I was pretty disappointed, because I thought I was done."
Weatherhead and his family decided last week to get a second opinion from James Bakeman, a Grand Rapids knee specialist who revived Weatherhead's upcoming season.
"We found out I had a little tear in my MCL, and that the ACL was fine," Weatherhead said. "The MCL will heal without surgery, so now it's up to me to put in the rehab and hard work to strengthen it, and hopefully be ready by July."
Weatherhead passed for 2,700 yards and 35 touchdowns as a senior at Comstock Park, which earned him all-state honors.
He was redshirted as a freshman at Hillsdale, and was 11-for-17 passing for 107 yards and a touchdown last fall as a little-used backup.
Hillsdale coach Keith Otterbein said Weatherhead's story about being given a second chance to compete is a common one.
"Initially, the news wasn't promising. But, thankfully, that's also why you get second opinions," said Otterbein, who led his alma mater to an 8-3 record last season, including a 7-3 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
"Troy is a football player who got hurt. He's going to be fine, but he also knows he has to do a lot of rehabbing to get the knee stronger before the fall,"
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