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Clausen to have surgery on torn toe ligaments

Jan 4, 2010, 9:33 PM EDT

ESPN’s Tom Friend reports that Jimmy Clausen’s turf toe injury was actually two torn ligaments in his right big toe. The injury, suffered during the Michigan State game back in September, happened when Clausen tried to avoid a hit on a sack by Spartan linebacker Eric Gordon.

The injury was the source of rumors and speculation with many believing Clausen had broken a bone or torn a ligament. Weis, Clausen, and the entire staff all insisted that Clausen simply had a case of turf toe, an injury that hobbled NFL quarterback Matt Ryan and caused him to miss significant playing time this season, while Clausen never missed a start.

Clausen had begun training for his draft workouts when he reaggravated the injury.

More from Friend’s report:

Clausen hoped the pain was behind him when he resumed workouts in late
December, but while throwing a deep pass to former Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn,
the quarterback felt more aches. His agent, Gary Wichard, suggested he
undergo an MRI, and the results revealed two torn ligaments in his
right big toe — the foot he plants with when he throws.
Dr. David Thordarson of the USC Medical Center suggested surgery to
re-attach the ligaments, and when Clausen flew to Baltimore for a
second opinion, Myerson agreed.

I wonder if the decision to categorize Clausen’s injury as turf toe as opposed to torn ligaments was subterfuge or if it really took an MRI to diagnose the injury. Charlie Weis always claimed to be forthright about injuries, but I certainly wouldn’t blame him for not letting the world know that his star quarterback needed season ending surgery.

Clausen is expected to be out for two to three months according to Friend and will throw for scouts in early April.

(Funny that it took until after their college careers were over for Jimmy Clausen to complete a pass to wide receiver Arrelious Benn. I wonder how Benn feels about his decision to hitch his wagon to quarterback Juice Williams instead of Clausen back when he chose the Illini after silently committing to the Fighting Irish.)

  1. willmose - Jan 5, 2010 at 3:02 PM

    Gee whiz, how the heck did Notre Dame miss this? Another of ex-coach Weis shortcomings? Not having a decent medical staff. If ex-coach Weis knew about this and played him anyway, it speaks volumes about what was going on. Here’s a great player with an injury that needs to get fix and the medical staff either does not test to see what it is or they let him play with it. Why? Water under the bridge now. Thank God for Coach Kelly.

  2. Jake - Jan 5, 2010 at 6:14 PM

    I agree Willmose. I mean this injury happened in Sept. Wouldn’t you think that maybe, just maybe someone at some point would think something was amiss?
    The interesting thing that if Weis would have had Clausen properly evaluated it might have played to his favor, job wise. Hey I lost my star quarterback, what do you expect?
    Considering his buyout it may have bought him another year.

  3. david - Jan 5, 2010 at 8:54 PM

    Hey, guys, ever consider it was CLAUSENS idea to play instead of surgery, and thats why this never came out..or it really wasnt that bad to start but ended up torn after all the games he played in..geez, why do people always blame weis for everything…

  4. willmose - Jan 5, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    Why would Clausen play if he knew he had a potential career ending injury? Your big toe affects your ability to run, throw and BALANCE. What if Clausen lost this balance during the game and “fell into” an on-rushing DL. It’s not that everything is ex-Coach Weis fault, but as head coach seeing that you and your players get sound medical advise is important and part of the job. With good medical advice, informed decisions can be made. In college football, it is always the doctors and coach that make that decision, not the players. In pro football it is different as the players are adults and they are getting paid for what they do. If this was some CC football program with a $1000 per year budget, well okay, maybe. This Norte Dame and I expect better from their football program and staff.

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