Ordinarily, when Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer begins his weekly Monday teleconference, he will inform reporters that he won’t release any injury information until Thursday, when the ACC makes the team distribute an official injury report.
But with six players out for the season, and the possibility that five defensive starters could miss Saturday’s game at Duke, Beamer brought head trainer Mike Goforth on the call to set things straight.
And the good news is that Goforth sounded optimistic that defensive end James Gayle (left ankle sprain), cornerback Jayron Hosley (hamstring) and linebacker Alonzo Tweedy (high ankle sprain) will be back in the lineup Saturday. Linebacker Bruce Taylor suffered a season-ending foot injury against Boston College,
The biggest question mark is Tweedy, but Goforth said, “He looked good [Sunday] and looked better [Monday]. It’s just a matter of how he progresses through this week.” Hosley and Gayle are expected to practice this week.
As for Taylor, he will undergo surgery next week to repair the lisfranc sprain he suffered in his right foot this past weekend. Goforth said Taylor would be limited in spring practice, but should be back at full strength by next summer.
Taylor won’t be able to put any weight on the foot for six to eight weeks and then will begin running on underwater and anti-gravity treadmills to start his rehabilitation process. Since linebacker Jeron Gouveia-Winslow already underwent surgery after suffering a lisfranc sprain of his own two weeks ago, he is on a similar recovery schedule.
“Sometimes they take a little longer than expected, so there’s really no cookbook that you can follow with this. We’ll take it real slow,” Goforth said. Taylor and Gouveia-Winslow “are two veterans and don’t necessarily need to get out there and beat it up for 15 [spring] practices. We’ll have to see how they are in late-February.”
A lisfranc sprain is considered a rare injury by doctors, but Goforth said it’s one of the more misdiagnosed injuries in emergency rooms and “a lot more frequent than people think.”
“If you were to look at it like it was a hand or wrist, it’s where the hand bone meets the wrist bone. So it’s down from the anke and before you get to the toes,” said Goforth, describing the injury.
Lisfranc injuries were at one time considered career-threatening because they affect a weight-bearing body part, but surgical procedures have advanced over the years. Goforth said teamsurgeon Marc Siegel will use a progressive “tight rope” technique. He will insert filament-type material that will hold the joint together.
Only one Hokies player has not recovered from the injury, according to Goforth. He said back in 2006, Jahre Cheesman, Brett Warren and Cam Martin all had lisfranc injuries, though not all of them required surgery.
That Virginia Tech has now had two that require surgery in the past three weeks is “just a case of bad luck,” Goforth said. “Luck’s not on our side right there.”