For the third time in the last two years, Washington Huskies running back Deontae Cooper has torn an ACL. Cooper's injury problems began almost exactly two years ago, when he tore an ACL during a scrimmage as his freshman year began. They continued a year later when, while preparing to get back on the field following the first injury, he tore the same ligament.
And now this:
I am saddened and dismayed to report that Deontae Cooper has torn the ACL in his right knee while participating in a non-contact drill during practice. Deontae has done everything we have asked of him, and has been an example to his teammates with his hard work in the classroom, and the dedication he showed in returning from two previous ACL surgeries in his left knee. Our football program will do everything we can to support him in this tough time.
Two surgeries on one knee and, just as he's almost back and ready to go, he tears the ACL in his right knee. Simply a brutal injury for a kid that's been so close to getting on the field.
In fact, on Monday Bob Condotta spoke to Cooper. This quote stood out.
Cooper suddenly wondered if he'd ever play again.
"There is that question for the first couple of weeks," he said. "And then after you get through with the surgery and the doctor tells you you can go again, it's 'Man, (I'm) ready to strap them on and go and grind.' Until the doctors tell me I can't play, if I tear my ACL five more times, I will keep going."
He'll need that perseverance -- which has been on display over the last two years -- if he hopes to attempt to battle back and play college football.