UW Football | Juan Garcia's sprain a pain for Huskies
Juan Garcia's football teammates, noting his hard-earned history of recovering from injuries, said they fully expect him to be the team's...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Juan Garcia's football teammates, noting his hard-earned history of recovering from injuries, said they fully expect him to be the team's center when the season begins Aug. 30 at Oregon.
"Juan's been through worse than this," said guard Jordan White-Frisbee. "So I have faith, big-time faith, that he'll be back."
Hope, meanwhile, is what UW coach Tyrone Willingham was holding onto Monday after announcing that Garcia suffered a Lisfranc injury to his left foot during a scrimmage on Friday.
It's the same injury — more specifically, a complex mid-foot sprain — suffered by quarterback Isaiah Stanback in 2006.
Willingham said Stanback suffered a "severe" version of the injury. Stanback required surgery and wasn't fully healthy for about 10 months.
The severity of Garcia's injury is unknown pending visits to specialists in the next few days, Willingham said, and it's possible Garcia could be back next season.
Garcia walked past media on crutches Monday but didn't talk with reporters. Willingham said Garcia was having a tough time dealing with the news.
Garcia, a graduate of Eisenhower High in Yakima, missed the entire 2004 and 2005 seasons with injuries, earning a rare sixth year of eligibility. He was officially a senior last year, when he earned All-Pac-10 second-team honors, but decided to come back for the sixth year, hoping to improve his NFL draft stock and lead the Huskies to their first bowl since 2002.
"It's just heartbreaking if it ends up being something really serious," said offensive line coach Mike Denbrock. "Hopefully it's [not too bad] and we can move on. If not, I've got all the confidence in the world in the guys behind him, and we'll get them ready to play."
Sophomore Matt Sedillo will become the No. 1 center for the rest of the spring, and walk-on sophomore Greg Christine will be his backup.
Hasty on leave
The strange saga of running back J.R. Hasty took another turn Monday when he revealed he has been placed on a leave of absence by Willingham while the coach decides his future.
Hasty was not at practice, and said in a phone interview Willingham told him on Friday that he was essentially being suspended until the coach decided he could return.
Hasty was suspended for the first seven practices of the spring for what Willingham said was a failure to live up to team responsibilities.
Hasty on Monday said he was suspended for missing a few offseason workouts, saying he had no one to blame. "That's on me," he said.
Hasty, who missed the 2006 season after being declared academically ineligible, returned to practice last week and Willingham praised his play on Thursday. But Hasty said Willingham then told him on Friday that the coach wanted more time to think about whether he had made the right decision in allowing him back on the team.
Hasty, who scored a state-record 50 touchdowns as a senior at Bellevue High in 2004, said he expects to meet with Willingham today to discuss his status.
Hasty briefly left the team last fall, citing unhappiness about playing time. But he said he isn't thinking of transferring.
"I'll do whatever it takes to get back on the squad," he said.
Forrester to cornerback
The Huskies have moved senior free safety Mesphin Forrester to cornerback. The move was made in part because of the rapid progress of sophomore safeties Nate Williams and Victor Aiyewa, who have emerged as starters.
Forrester, who is 6 feet 2, 205 pounds, teamed with O'Dea High grad Quinton Richardson (6 feet, 205 pounds) as the starting cornerbacks in Friday's scrimmage.
"Now we have two bigger corners out there to contend with," Willingham said, adding that the defense had "the advantage" over the offense in Friday's scrimmage.
The safety position will be bolstered in the fall when Jason Wells, a starter at free safety the first five games last year, returns from a knee injury.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 10:18 PM
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