Huskies' Jake Locker likely done for season
If the Washington Huskies are to get any wins this season, sounds as if they might have to get them without Jake Locker. The sophomore quarterback was...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Oregon State @ UW, 4 p.m., Versus TV
If the Washington Huskies are to get any wins this season, sounds as if they might have to get them without Jake Locker.
The sophomore quarterback was listed as out six to eight weeks after suffering a broken thumb against Stanford on Sept. 27, but offensive coordinator Tim Lappano said Tuesday he thought it was "highly unlikely" that Locker will play again this season.
Lappano said more will be known after Locker sees a hand specialist today. Locker broke the thumb on his throwing hand while attempting a block on a reverse in the second quarter against the Cardinal.
"Is he going to play this year before the season is over? Who knows," Lappano said. "It's highly unlikely, I would guess. But [today] we'll know more when they find out a little bit more about it."
Lappano said in an interview last week on KJR-AM that the injury "is a lot worse than people realized."
He said doctors inserted 12 pins into the hand and that one of the doctors said "it was one of the worst thumbs he had seen as far as how the bone was fractured." Lappano said Locker will need surgery again in a few weeks to take out a plate holding the thumb together. Officially, Locker was reported to have broken the first metacarpal, the bone which connects the thumb to the hand.
Tuesday, Lappano said that not only would the break in Locker's thumb need to heal before he could play again but he would also likely need some time to get back in playing form.
"I do think it's going to take some time to rehab it a little bit where you can squeeze and grab and feel the ball and get the strength back and all of that," Lappano said. "So I think it would be a tough call [that he could return this year]. I pray I'm wrong, but I don't know."
Lappano, however, said there is no fear that the injury will have long-term ramifications on Locker's career. Lappano said there has been no indication the injury would impact Locker's throwing motion once healed and that he should be fully recovered by next spring.
"He's not going to miss spring ball or anything like that," Lappano said.
Lappano said Locker now has the thumb in a hard cast and that, as of last week, he still felt throbbing at times in the thumb at night.
With Locker out, redshirt freshman Ronnie Fouch has taken over at QB and he will make his first Husky Stadium start Saturday against Oregon State. Walk-on Taylor Bean remains the backup.
When Locker was first injured, there was some speculation that he might play another position. But UW coaches and officials have indicated since then that it is highly unlikely that he will do that, especially as the extent of his thumb injury has become clearer.
• Guard Casey Bulyca had arthroscopic surgery on his knee Tuesday and coaches held out hope that he could return this season, Lappano saying he could be back anywhere from "two to seven weeks" depending on what is found.
• Lappano said he doesn't expect David Freeman, struggling with sprains to both ankles, to play this week, leaving UW with three tailbacks — Willie Griffin, Terrance Dailey and Brandon Johnson. Griffin appeared to run with the first team during practice Tuesday.
• TE Kavario Middleton, who has been struggling with a knee injury suffered against BYU, was not in pads for Tuesday's practice.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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