Section 1

October 3rd, 2011 at 2:16 PM ^

because I ruptured my Achilles almost exactly three months aftrer he ruptured his.  So I sort of know how it goes with that injury.  And it is a bad one; pretty scary at first, because you've got a lower leg that isn't just sore -- it doesn't work.  You'd be crawling, without a boot and/or crutches.

The thing with an Achilles' rupture (according to my U-M Medsport surgeon) is that once it is repaired and healed, there is little chance of re-rupture.

It is pretty remarkable how far Persa has come in less than a year.  Being three months behind him, I know far I'd have yet to go, to be getting into shape for Big Ten football.  But at the same time, you do get to a point where you regain confidence in the repair, and you are just getting your leg back into its former condition.

I would definitely expect Persa to play, and we better watch out based on how he performed against the Illini. 


October 3rd, 2011 at 2:43 PM ^

unless you rupture it in an entirely different place.

I tore my Achilles 80% in July 2010, rupture site was very high - just below the calf.

I had surgery in August, got off crutches in September, and ruptured it (rupture = 100%, whereas tear is < 100%) just above the heel a few weeks later.

Apparently, you can re-injure your Achilles quite easily if you stretch the joint when the remaining Achilles tissue is strung very tight (as it often is when they cut out the injured tissue) and your surrounding musculature isn't strong enough to protect it due to atrophy.

The first injury happened on the basketball court.  The second happened when I got run into on the stairs in Grand Central and fell forward with all my body weight on my injured leg.  Of course, the original repair held, and the Achilles ruptured just above the heel. 

The second time around, surgery wasn't so kind.  The surgeon no longer had enough Achilles to work with, so they transplanted the FHL tendon (which runs from the calf to the big toe, basically) to replace the Achilles.  I spent the next 3 months on crutches and am still in rehab.

End result: my right ankle is about 85% of what it was.

Section 1

October 3rd, 2011 at 3:13 PM ^

That hurt, just reading it! 

And what you say of course (from painful personal experience) makes sense.  What I don't want to minimize, is that Persa is not yet one year post-rupture.  And while everybody's different (particularly young NCAA scholarship athletes), he is in a relatively early stage of recovery.  (I hope and expect that Persa will have a complete recovery, although he can't possibly be there yet.)

I don't know about you, but my surgery was not arthroscopic, and I am not aware of anybody who is routinely doing Achilles repairs via arthroscope or percutaneous approach.  I know it has been done; but I don't think there is anything routine about that approach.  And so when you tear apart somebody's ankle, it takes a while to heal.  In the meantime, you lose a lot of muscle tone in that leg.


October 3rd, 2011 at 3:23 PM ^

I'm unaware of the use of arthroscopy for Achilles work - very uncommon, I'd presume.  The 8-inch scar up the back of my leg (32 staples!) is more representative, I believe:

I've read elsewhere that Persa's leg is pretty atrophied.  It's a slow road back from that injury, so I'd be unsurprised if that proved accurate.

Blue in Yarmouth

October 3rd, 2011 at 3:21 PM ^

is that you are no omre likely to re-rupture your achilles tendon after a repair than you are to rupture an achilles tendon that was never repaired. That is where the medical evidence points anyway. Sometimes certain injuries put a person a higher risk of reinjuring the paricular body part, but for achilles tendons that isn't the case. At least that is what I remember from my time studying orthopedics (which wasn't my specialty so don't take it as gospel).


October 3rd, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

71% accuracy YTD 2011. 4 TDs. 0 INTs.

He was 74% accurate last year over 10 games, only 4 INTs.

Except Northwestern's o-line isn't helping matters in pass protect - 10 sacks already this fall.

If Persa is going to play, the Fitzgerald probably won't run him that much and will prefer to have him chuck it.  But how much time will he get to throw?  How has the Achilles injury affected his speed and escapability. That was what made Persa really special last year.

The thing is, Northwestern isn't passing very much. They're dead last in the league in passing yardage after 5 games.

With Trumpy out, and Persa back in, I'd expect NW to come out throwing like no tomorrow. The main rushing threat now for NW is QB Kain Colter.

Defensively, the Wildcats gave up 473 yards to Illinois, but held them to only 82 yards rushing. They made some nice adjustments there since surrending 381 yards rushing in the loss to Army's wishbone offense.




October 3rd, 2011 at 8:00 PM ^

A big part of his accuracy was the ability to buy time with his legs and find the open receiver.  When you can buy yourself an extra second or two with your legs, it's a lot easier to have a higher accuracy rate.  The threat of taking off down the field helps as well.

However, his mobility is severely decreased, this before the injury on Saturday.  His accuracy was still good, but it's a small sample size.  I expect our guys to really come after him Saturday and make him use that leg to beat us. 

Them having their top RB out is only going to put them in more obvious passing situations which will not do Persa any favors.


October 3rd, 2011 at 2:38 PM ^

Looking at the box score   Persa had -3 yards on 9 attempts.  I know that Persa is a competent passer but his strength is creating plays with his legs, whether it is buying time to pass or gaining yardage on scrambles.  If his mobility is limited then I like our chances of shutting him down and getting to him in the back field. 


October 3rd, 2011 at 2:45 PM ^

But I really don't think it will matter.  M is gaining momentum and confidence and I see no reason that NW will be able to stop our offense, regardless of what Persa does.  Hoke and Co are proving to be great at preparing the team and they will expecially do this with NW - since they have virtually only one weapon.


October 3rd, 2011 at 2:47 PM ^

I saw a bit of the second half, after our game got out of hand. Persa still had the ability to extend the play outside of the pocket and looked accurate. They definitely weren't running him at all. I missed the play where he got hurt while watching Gardner's snaps, but he looked like he was still accurate and dangerous. Ebert is a good receiver too. If he can play, even from the pocket, he'll be a good test for our secondary.

If Persa can't go, Kolter's kind of like Taylor Martinez, only not as fast, and a worse passer. I don't think NU can beat us with Kolter in.

Indiana Blue

October 3rd, 2011 at 4:05 PM ^

and Troy still has the cast on his fingers / hand / wrist / forearm / arm ... and is in the starting lineup, I can guess who Persa is going to throw towards.  Ain't beratin  -  just statin !

Go Blue !


October 3rd, 2011 at 7:43 PM ^

a senior captain is going to pull himself from the second half of the team's biggest rivalry game and be good to go less than 48 hours later.

I expect to see Persa's mobility severely compromised and at least a few series from Coulter.