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Grace undergoes another leg surgery

Mar 29, 2014, 4:58 PM EDT

Temple v Notre Dame Getty Images

Senior linebacker Jarrett Grace underwent another surgery on his injured right leg. Grace had a rod inserted to help stimulate bone growth Friday, as he continues his recovery from a broken fibula suffered against Arizona State last year. The surgery will hopefully help the rising senior linebacker recover in time for next season.

“Remember he had four breaks there,” Kelly told a group of reporters after Saturday’s practice. “So the surgery went very well. I just talked to Brian Ratigan. All four of those came together very well.

“If he went in there and there was instability in the four breaks, I think there would have been some concern as to whether he could make it back in the fall. But the indication is there has been some great growth in there.”

Grace had been seen at practice this spring out of uniform and walking with a pronounced limp still. The presumed starter at inside linebacker, Grace’s injury takes a position with not a lot of depth and continues to throw it up in the air.

The primary beneficiary from Grace’s injury seems to be Joe Schmidt. The former walk-on linebacker continues to hold down the inside linebacker job, quickly grasping Brian VanGorder’s new scheme. While Schmidt will likely stay on the field in sub-packages or passing downs, Grace is undoubtedly the team’s best inside linebacker, with the 6-foot-2.5, 253-pounder athletic enough to hold up against the pass, but stout against the run game as well.

The Irish medical staff will wait six weeks before checking on the surgically repaired fibula. Everyone involved is still holding out hope that Grace will be ready to compete in the fall.

“What we’re saying is that in six weeks, if we get the kind of growth that we’re expecting, he’ll be ready for the fall,” Kelly said. “We’re hoping to get good news in six weeks, is the best way to put it.”

  1. shaunodame - Mar 29, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    This is No Bueno! However, this spring is a huge chance for Schmidt and Deeb to make an impact on the coaches before Nyles Morgan and Greer Martini arrive on campus in the summer.

    Also, with the new scheme and all do guys like Doug Randolph and eventually Nile Sykes or even Drue Tranquill get a chance at playing some ILB/MLB? From what I understand, from keeping up with these spring updates, guys like John Turner and James Onwualu are seeing time as OLB’s in sub packages which is very similar to an ILB role at that point, though I don’t see them having the physical capacity to hold down an ILB/MLB spot in the standard 4-3/3-4 fronts.

    • dickasman - Mar 29, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      We are screwed

  2. dickasman - Mar 29, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    I smell another position switch. Watch out waterboy, he might finally get his chance!!!

    • dickasman - Mar 29, 2014 at 5:59 PM

      Next waterboy in!

  3. viktory2013 - Mar 29, 2014 at 8:18 PM

    Unfortunately I think Grace might be finished as a player. An injury that severe is unlikely to endure the duress of an impact sport. Too bad for this kid, he deserved better.

    • bernhtp - Mar 29, 2014 at 9:48 PM

      It does look bad, but I am waiting the six weeks Kelly mentions before writing his football obituary.

    • irishdog80 - Mar 30, 2014 at 10:57 PM

      He may be best served by sitting out a year and letting it heal through and through like Tori Hunter Jr. has done.

  4. irishdodger - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    I hope he can overcome this but that injury was the equivalent of a car wreck. I’d be shocked if he regained his starting spot. Best of luck to him.

  5. fnc111 - Mar 30, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    I hate hockey. Out shoot em 36-11 through three periods and still lose in OT.

  6. c4evr - Mar 30, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Like this Zaire kid – stating publicly he will be the starter… on ESPN, no less. ND hasn’t hasn’t seen this kind of moxy in a kid since the Holtz days. Even if he falls on his face, I’m for anything that takes the Irish in a direction other than vanilla.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Mar 30, 2014 at 11:00 PM

      Couldn’t agree more. Love the attitude and if nothing else, it’ll keep the fire lit under Golson’s ass to perform on the field and in the classroom.

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