In college football injuries are not a question of if, but rather a question of how and when. In fact, the NCAA found that nearly 41,000 injuries were suffered by ‘student-athletes’ between 2004 and 2009.

Reality is a best case scenario for any player is that their injury will occur when their in-season competition will be unaffected. So far this spring Jermaine Roberts, Sheroid Evans, and Dalton Santos all will be missing the remainder of camp due to injuries. Each of these players’ injuries will result in a different course of rehabilitation and recovery; however, each one of these athletes has the goal to return before fall camp.

While not always likely, it is possible to recover before the season from a severe injury that occurred in spring. During my senior year of college my final spring camp was cut short due to an injury to my left elbow
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The injury was a complicated incident that ended in a small fracture of my humerus producing a ‘loose body’ which is any piece of bone or cartilage that detaches from its place of origin and moves freely in your joint cavity. In my case, this loose body settled in the Olecranon Fossa of the Humerus and wedged itself deeply enough to cut my range of motion in half (fig 1).

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The surgery took almost 3 hours and nearly ended with an intentional dislocation of the elbow to remove the loose body. The end result was not pretty (fig 2).

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I was fortunate enough to have a dedicated athletic training staff who spent an extended amount of time planning and executing my rehab. Their dedication, along with a lot of hard work, helped me return to football activity before August.

Universities spend hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars on their trainers and training rooms to ensure that their players stay as healthy as possible. Even advanced facilities can’t stop every injury.<br>
Here’s a look at injury reports from Texas’ 2015 schedule:

Notre Dame - Jarron Jones (DT): LisFranc [foot], Drue Tranquill (Safety): ACL, Sheldon Day (D-Line): MCL, Cody Riggs (Corner): Stress Fracture, Daniel Cage (D-Line): Knee-UNDISCLOSED

Rice – NONDISCLOSURE

Cal – Steven Moore (Tackle): Both Shoulders [surgery], Jalen Jefferson (Linebacker): Hamstring, Stefan McGhee (Safety): Quadriceps Surgery, Griffin Piatt (Safety): ACL

Oklahoma State – Devin Davis (Tackle): Knee [retired], Brandon Shepard (Receiver): Finger

TCU – Trevone Boykin (Quarterback): Wrist, Aaron Green (Running back): Hamstring, Josh Doctson (Receiver): Hand

OU – Jordan Smallwood (Receiver): ACL, Rodney Anderson (Running back): MCL

Kansas State – NONDISCLOSURE

ISU - Quenton Bundrage (Receiver): ACL, Dondre Daley (Receiver): UNDISCLOSED, Martinez Syria (Running back): Neck, Kamari Cotton-Moya (Safety): Concussion symptoms, Levi Peters (Linebacker): Knee

Kansas –Joe Dineen (Linebacker): Shoulder, Corey Avery (Running back): Shoulder, Colin Spencer (Corner): Shoulder, Will Smith (O-Line): Shoulder, Joe Gibson (O-Line): Shoulder, Lay’Trion Jones (D-Line): Back

West Virginia – Donte Thomas Williams (Running back): Knee-UNDISCLOSED

Texas Tech - Braylon Brown (Guard): Shoulder-UNDISCLOSED

Baylor -Xavien Howard (Corner), Ryan Reid (Corner), Terrell Burt (Safety), Orion Stewart (Safety) – All four members of the starting secondary missed time during spring camp with undisclosed injuries.

As you can see, injuries are not just an issue for the University of Texas. Spring injuries can be frustrating and disheartening, however, sources confirm that Coach Strong is not planning to reduce the intensity of his practices – the Longhorns value toughness and are not willing to sacrifice any of the much needed practice time.

With position battles brewing in vital spots, each rep becomes more valuable to the coaches and players. Coaches need as much information as possible to determine their starting lineups for fall and each player needs as many reps as possible to prove they deserve to be in that starting lineup.

Spring camp is all about self-improvement. Each player has to focus on improving the ‘little’ things about their game; footwork, hand placement, alignment, assignment, and every other possible component of their job.

“The key is not the will to win… the key is the will to prepare to win.” – Bob Knight