Share This Page

Lattimore could be out until 2014

| Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, 7:10 p.m.
South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore is hit by Tennessee's Eric Gordon during the first half Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. (AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Marcus Lattimore had his right knee dislocated and suffered ligament damage in Saturday's victory against Tennessee, but South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said he believes the junior eventually could return to football.

Spurrier visited Lattimore on Sunday and said the running back displayed a good attitude about his condition. Spurrier said team doctor Jeffrey Guy was able to put Lattimore's knee back in place soon after he was taken from the field to the hospital.

Guy said in a statement that Lattimore's knee was hyperextended and resulted in injuries to several ligaments. Guy said there were no fractures, broken bones or other injuries, and Lattimore's surgically repaired left knee was not affected.

“Marcus has already begun the process of prehabilitation prior to surgery and to his eventual return to football,” the statement said.

Spurrier said the injury was significant but discounted speculation that Lattimore would never play football again. Lattimore has not used a redshirt season, so he could take as long as necessary to recover and return to the Gamecocks for the 2014 season.

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

Spurrier said he hasn't talked with Lattimore, who turns 21 on Monday, about his playing future.

“He knows what the road ahead is,” Spurrier said. “We're all hoping and praying he'll be back.”

That didn't seem possible to anyone who saw the slow-motion replay of the second-quarter hit. Lattimore was wrapped up from behind on a 2-yard run when Volunteers defensive back Eric Gordon came in low. Lattimore's right leg sickeningly flopped over and slammed against the turf, and he had to be carted off the field to the hospital.

Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw said the team played for Lattimore in the second half, with South Carolina (7-2, 5-2 SEC) holding on for a 38-35 win over Tennessee (3-5, 0-5). The No. 11 Gamecocks don't play again until Nov. 10 against Arkansas.

University president Harris Pastides visited with Lattimore on Sunday and announced a rally would be held in the player's honor on campus Monday.

Senior Kenny Miles will be South Carolina's new starting running back, with freshman Mike Davis serving as backup.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.