Oregon’s James suffers elbow injury against Cal
All seemed well while the Oregon Ducks were pummeling the Cal Golden Bears on Thursday night. The Ducks were dominating on the scoreboard and Heisman hopeful LaMichael James was having a game that would surely grab the attention of voters everywhere. Unfortunately, his night would not end as well as it began.
After rushing for 239 yards and a touchdown on the night, James fell awkwardly on his right arm after a run in the fourth quarter. During the fall, his face was immediately etched with pain as he dislocated his elbow. He was tended to by the team’s medical staff and was carted off the field after the arm was put into a temporary cast. The game resumed and the Ducks came away with a dominant 43-15 victory.
Despite how nauseating the injury looked, it appears as though the Ducks most valuable offensive weapon won’t be on the sidelines for too long.
“It’s not a season-ending injury and I’ll be fine,” James said in a post-game press conference. “I’m tough. I’m a warrior and I’m never going to quit on my team.”
So far in 2011, James has been playing like the Heisman candidate that so many people dubbed him as prior to the beginning of the college season. James has run for at least 200 yards in the last three games, something that no Ducks player has ever done before. On the season, he has racked up 852 yards and eight touchdowns on 95 carries (9 yards per carry). To go along with his ground dominance, he has also added 11 receptions for 159 yards and one touchdown.
Although a dislocated elbow is no laughing matter, this injury shouldn’t keep James out of the lineup for too long. The team’s medical staff had X-rays performed, which showed that the arm was not broken. James wouldn’t speculate on whether he’d be ready for Oregon’s game against Arizona State next Saturday, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back out there soon enough with his tenacity and never-say-never mentality.
“We’re gonna wait and see,” James said. “We have the best trainers in the country and I’m sure they are going to get on it ASAP and I’ll be there four times a day so I can get on the field.”
It’ll be interesting to see whether James was downplaying the injury or not. Either way, this could potentially be a huge setback for the Ducks as they continue to work towards defending their 2010 PAC-10 (now PAC-12) crown.