Kevin Koger Undergoes Surgery to Repair Achilles Tendon

Submitted by MGoShoe on April 23rd, 2012 at 10:45 PM

The Toledo Blade's new Michigan beat writer Rachel Lenzi reports the unfortunate news.

Former Whitmer and Michigan football standout Kevin Koger underwent surgery to repair a partially torn left Achilles tendon, Koger's agent said today.

Rick Smith of Priority Sports and Entertainment in Chicago, said Koger, who will graduate from Michigan on Saturday with a degree in sport management, underwent surgery on March 27, five days after suffering the injury during training.

Smith would not comment on Koger's future in the NFL, other than to say, "He will be fine, and he will play in the NFL."

That's some seriously unfortunate news for Koger. Here's hoping his recovery goes smoothly.



April 23rd, 2012 at 10:50 PM ^

Smith would not comment on Koger's future in the NFL, other than to say, "He will be fine, and he will play in the NFL."


Smith would not comment other than to comment... Well played sir.


April 23rd, 2012 at 10:51 PM ^

Gotta feel for the guy. We all thought he'd be drafted just a couple months ago, and then the combine snubbed him. Hope a team takes a chance on him. 


April 24th, 2012 at 1:25 AM ^

 I have a weird phobia of tearing my achilles ever since I watched Nightmare on elm street 3 dream warriors and Freddy Kruger turns this kid into a puppet. Right around the same time Dominique Wilkins ruptured his achilles and they showed it on TV pretty much non stop for a week and it looked extremely painful.

 My question is after you recover from an Achilles injury is it always in the back of your head?


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:01 PM ^

I would love to see Kevin Koger get a shot at the NFL some day - I think he would be a solid contirbutor to any team, as well as an incredibly positive influence, by all accounts. Best wishes on your recovery, # 86. 


April 23rd, 2012 at 10:58 PM ^

That seriously sucks. I'd doubt teams will draft a guy who was likely a later round pick (McGinn had him the 12th best TE in the draft) who has a recent injury requiring significant rehab. And entering the league as a undrafted free agent is a much tougher climb than even a late round pick, which means some team has made a significant investment. He seems like a great guy as well.


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:06 PM ^

Isn't that the same kind of injury Persa had? He was injured in one of the last games of the 2010 season and still had to sit out the first few games of the 2011 season.  His recovery time was in the neighborhood of 10 mos.

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April 24th, 2012 at 12:15 AM ^

It's 10 months for an athlete.  Usually a lost season, one way or another.  But the repair can usually make you pretty close to 100%, and the risk of re-injury is very low.  Dominque Wilkins came back from his achilles repair and had one of the best years of his career.

Happened to me last year; it takes time to get back to normal.

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April 24th, 2012 at 11:40 AM ^

My rupture (and the basis for my curbstone opinion) was complete.  The thing is, that surgery is surgery, and most repairs, of partial tears or complete ruptures are done as open surgeries and not via percutaneous approach.  And the big thing is opening up the surgical site.

I hope Kevin Koger's recovery is a lot shorter than mine.  I expect that whenever it is accomplished, his recovery will be complete.


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:16 PM ^

Partially torn is WAY different than completely torn. He will have to work hard rehabbing but I'd expect much less recovery time than a full tear. The surgery is generally much less invasive which is already a head start coming out of the gates.


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:32 PM ^

  I completely tore mine about 3.5 weeks ago during PT at Ft.Benning. I had the surgery to stich it back together two weeks ago. They are telling me that it could be 6 months before I can even start to get active on it, then a year with full mobility running ect. They said it will be tight for about two years out.

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April 24th, 2012 at 12:20 AM ^

It will be six months before you are very active; sounds terrible I know but the nice thing is that as you rehab it, you will feel the progress and you'll keep gaining strenght and confidence.

And thanks for your service.  You will be back at full strength.  Stay with it.


April 23rd, 2012 at 11:52 PM ^

This sucks but Kevin is a talented dude and will make it back.  Historically speaking, Tai Streets tore his just before the NFL draft.. and he ended up having a decent NFL career after it healed.


April 24th, 2012 at 8:26 AM ^

And it's a bummer of an injury as far as recovery goes. My last rupture led to a blood clot, which led to no circulation to my inner calf muscle, which led to a Scooby-Doo villain-esque limp I now deal with. "I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for you meddling kids!"

Good luck to you Mr. Koger. 


April 24th, 2012 at 11:23 AM ^

I know people will probably not like this, but it seems like Barwis guys get hurt all the time. Half of our team was hurt for 3 years under him, and now KK destroys his achillies. His methods put a lot of stress on tendons and joints, I am beginning to see a coralation between his methods and injuries.

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April 24th, 2012 at 11:35 AM ^

I mean, if we hadn't started a war for oil in Iraq, I'm pretty sure that Koger would still have two good achilles tendons.  It is quite possible that there was some sort of CIA plan that Cheney and Rumsfeld had hatched, to take out terrorist achilles tendons (code-name "Achilles' Heel") may have gone awry, and resulted in an injury to Kevin Koger's achilles.  What we need to find out, is how Barwis got involved.  It is all very surprising, because Brady Hoke was going to be a Secret Service agent; how can we be sure that he didn't do the training, and has been a sleeper agent all of these years?


April 24th, 2012 at 1:17 PM ^

Well this is pretty detailed in "Three and Out". No need to be a smartace either, jmo.

MIssed games due to injury during RR era: Brandon Minor, Sam McGuffie, Troy Woolfolk, Mike Williams, Mike Martin, Steven Threet, Vinny Smith, Mike Shaw, MArtavious Odoms, David Molk, Fitz Toussaint, JR Hemmingway, Greg Banks, Denard Robinson, Devin Gardner, Tim McAvoy, David Moosemen, JT Floyd, Teric Jones, Jared Van Slyke, John Ferrara, Carolos Brown, Zac Johnson.


That is all I have time to look up. Thank you to collegeinjuryreport.


April 24th, 2012 at 3:34 PM ^

LOL wut? So every injury that has ever happened to an athlete is directly attributable to his trainer? Are you being serious? How about you take a look at injuries for programs across the country for the past 10 years, then look at ours under Barwis and see how that stacks up. Or better yet, look at the number of injuries West Virginia had when Barwis was there vs. when Barwis was not. You're making your argument up out of thin air.


April 25th, 2012 at 8:29 AM ^

Thank you for your scholarly response after complaining about lack of facts. Your reponse "it seems" was the factual response we were all looking for. Um from 08-10 averaged 11 athletes missing at minimum one game. Btw, I just checked SDSU injuries from 09 and 10 and they had 8 athletes sit out in two years. So add that to the um total this year and we are looking at an average of 4 a year for our current s&c coach compared to 11 a year under barwis.


April 25th, 2012 at 10:59 AM ^

Then bring your own facts to the table. Saying "it seems" while pointing out the I am using some wild assumption based on limited data and no facts makes you look very silly when you don't bring a single fact of your own. By all means, please educate us all. I am still waiting to hear something of substance from you. Yes I missed the point, because you complied all of the data of all 119 teams over the past 3 years, and then "it seemed" like normal what UM was going through. Sure. I'll take your word for it.

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April 25th, 2012 at 11:26 AM ^

...I am just curious how many Michigan players missed games in 2007. 

The only reason I ask, is not because I think your methodology is acceptable, and 'just one more year of names' will prove anything one way or another.  It just occurred to me, that we had a whole bunch of injuries that year, with Chad Henne, Mike Hart, Carlos Brown, Obi Ezeh(?) Chris Graham, Alex Mitchell, and I don't know who else all suffering injuries.  I have no idea what database you are using for your info.  Could you plug 2007 into it?  Not that it means anything other than satisfying my stray curiosity...


April 24th, 2012 at 3:04 PM ^

That your statistics are inconclusive.  Run the same report for the same time frame for any other coach or WVU when Barwis was there for that matter.  Strength coach is not the sole reason for injuries, if it is you should give him credit for injuries that didn't happen.  Also,  Kevin did not injure his tendon at Mike's.  This is a setback but I am confident he will make a roster, but might have to wait one year.  He'll do it.


April 24th, 2012 at 3:05 PM ^

Then refute it with some facts. Our kids weren't hurt nearly as much as the prvious 3 years. Do the math.

Who had Koger been training with the last 2-3 months?

It just seems odd the relationship between all of the injuries at UM and Barwis.

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April 24th, 2012 at 3:48 PM ^

It "seems odd" to me that you would blame injuries on a particular S&C coach; one who coached some of these athletes for a couple of years, then didn't coach them, and then they went back to him for more S&C work.  It "seems odd" to me that you would pick that one variable, and then just rattle off some names of injured players as your proof of comparison to other years, where you haven't supplied any names.  To me, that's just "odd."

If you disagree, then to quote the post above, "refute it with some facts."  Do the math, then show us the math, okay?


April 24th, 2012 at 5:44 PM ^

2012 missed one+ game due to injury: Fitz Toussaint, Will Heininger, Ricky Barnum, Cam Gordon.


There you go.


It is near impossible to go back to 2003-07 and look at who was out for WVU week to week.


I don't feel it is odd at all to think that we had handfuls of injuries under our prior S&C coach and then KK goes back to the same guy and is injured again. Study Barwis methods and come back and refute that some of his exercises put a ton of stress on tendons and legaments.


In 08 UM saw 9 players miss at least one game due to injury.

In 09 UM saw  6 players miss at least one game due to injury.

in 10 UM saw 16 players miss at lest one game due to injury.


That is an average of 11 kids per year. This year we had 4.


April 24th, 2012 at 7:28 PM ^

of the strength and conditioning coach to design a program that will be balanced in order to prevent injury, provide progressive overload in order to stimulate improvement in strength, speed, and power, and allow adequate recovery time for his athletes between workouts, because without recovery no progress will be seen. Koger may not have torn his achilles tendon working with Barwis, but Barwis' training may have set him up to tear it by creating muscle imbalances or overtraining him, which Barwis has been known to do (See: 6 hour combine prep days). Can every injury be blamed on a strength and conditioning coach? No. But when the vast majority of athletes working with a coach tend to keep getting injured in a specific area, such as the upper/lower leg in this case, you have to begin to question the methods of a coach. I used to be a big Barwis supporter, but after looking at his methods from an unbiased perspective, there definitely seems to be flaws in his program design that are attributing to these injuries.


April 24th, 2012 at 10:39 PM ^

Thank you for your response. People will worship this guy until he dies regardless of what he turns out. I blindly followed him and declared him the best in the biz when he was here. After actually speaking with a few people who knew the s&c world they assured me he is not the best and that there a plenty out there as good or better. It is pretty obvious from the three years here that our guys got shoved around and were hurt a lot.

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April 25th, 2012 at 9:47 AM ^

I am sorry, that you feel so bad about your having earlier "blindly followed" Mike Barwis.  Personally, I try to not do anything "blindly."

And for that reason, I question your (and others') spouting off some random names as though you have a serious quantitative basis to question Barwis' methods.  I didn't, and don't, follow Mike Barwis "blindly," and I don't read your assertions blindly either.  I don't "worship" anybody either.  If I had a suggestion for you, it might be to avoid all of those extremes; don't "worship" andybody, and don't take it on faith from a few people you hear from, as to something as important as an epidemiological basis asserting a theory of serious personal injury.  Instead, calmly turn to real experts and real data, using peer-reviewed methodologies.  If you have any of that, by all means feel free to share it.


April 25th, 2012 at 10:54 AM ^

LOL. Ok.


When every publication that had anything to do with UM essentially crowned him the best in the biz and made sweet porn love to Barwis it is hard not to fall into the trap. I don't claim ot be an expert in the strength and conditioning field but I do coach and work very close with our S&C coach, who has played in the NFL, and knows a lot of reputable people in the S&C world. When I asked him about Barwis he laughed and said he has a cult like following because of his past in MMA and his wild motivational speeches that hit youtube. Then came the chocolate milk craze, that he said has been happening for a decade with US Olympic Athletes. Then the hour long interviews where he yells out scientific garbage. Rather then speak in a language everyone can understand, he goes off on rants that very few can follow.

Anyways, part of being a fan is being fanatical, so I followed the S&C coach of the team I obsess over, I doubt anyone else in our fanbase did the same thing (eyes roll).

I aksed our S&C coach time and time again why are we not doing the Barwis program, and his answer was always the same. He said he would never put his kids through that type of workout because it put far too much stress on the joints and tendons. Now I didn't ask him to give me a case study on why and how, so sorry I am disappointing you. Coincidentally, we used Mikey Marrotti system.



April 25th, 2012 at 8:22 AM ^

That proves absolutely nothing. You're using the one year that backs up your hypothesis as your baseline. To get a more accurate baseline, you have to look at more than just Michigan's results, and more than just 1 year's worth of results. Does the word "anomaly" mean anything to you?

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April 24th, 2012 at 8:03 PM ^

And it is a good thing that you didn't say "causing," because any sensible epidemiologist or heallth care professional would tell you that you are out of your mind.  The sample size is too small; the incidents too varied; the injuries too disparate; the methodology totally lacking.  

Yours is the kind of evidence-free anonyomous ranting that the internet is famous for, isn't it?

It is of course possible that "Barwis' training may have set [Koger] up to tear it by creating muscle imbalances or overtraining him .".  .."  It is also possible that Koger's achilles was partially torn by the horn of an invisible unicorn.  Either one "may" have happened.


April 24th, 2012 at 11:25 PM ^

Oh noez i used the wrong word. And anyone in the strengtha and conditioning industry who isn't best pals with him will tell you that Barwis is not the "best of the best" and that his methods are predisposing his athletes to injuries. Barwis makes it seem like he is great because he uses big words and talks really fast. Most athletes and people in general aren't educated in exercise physiology and will blindly follow whatever they hear simply because they don't know any better. Barwis also tries to make it sound like his style of training is unique and he is the one who created in when in fact olympic lifting and proprioceptive training are quite common. Barwis gets people to buy in to his methods, but that doesn't mean his methods are right. Barwis does not grasp the concept of training economy. That is, using multi-joint exercises that give you the most transfer over to the playing field and not heaping large amounts of exercises on athletes. Instead, Barwis uses multi-joint exercises, but uses a large amount of volume which very few athletes can handle. He also has a very unbalanced program. I've seen his workouts so I'm not just pulling this out of nowhere. Overtraining and muscle imbalances are two huge causes of injuries. Just because every single athlete was not getting injured and that some athletes made progress does not mean his training style is fantastic. Some athletes succeed in spite of what they do in the weight room and not because of it