Utah quarterback Cam Rising said in a radio interview Thursday the knee injury he suffered during last season's Rose Bowl damaged multiple ligaments and he is still hoping to be cleared to play this season.
Rising, a two-year starter who has led Utah to the last two Pac-12 titles, detailed the extent of his injury during a spot on ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City.
“I wasn’t really expecting to do this, but I just want to let everybody know I didn’t just tear my ACL,” Rising told ESPN 700. “I tore my meniscus, MPFL, and MCL. It was a big surgery and it’s not an easy comeback. I’ve been working my tail off.”
The 18th-ranked Utes won their first four games before falling last week at Oregon State. Using Bryson Barnes and Nate Johnson at quarterback, Utah's offense has been the worst in the Pac-12 at 4.55 yard per play and one of the worst in the country.
Rising said players who have had similar injuries such as former Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker, who was hurt in November and drafted by the Detroit Lions, and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, who was injured in December, have also not played yet this season.
“I’m grinding and doing everything I possibly can, and even the fact I’m going out there and practicing, I’m ahead of schedule,” Rising told ESPN 700. “I’m trying to make sure I can be out there because nobody wants to be out there on the field grinding with those guys more than me, but at the end of the day, it’s my body.”
Rising is being treated by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, an orthopedic surgeon and the team doctor for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Rams.
"My body has to recover, and there’s not really anyone that can say much besides the best doctor in the world, Dr. ElAttrache, down in LA can say,” Rising said.
Utah is off this week before hosting California on Oct. 14. After that the Utes play No. 9 Southern California and No. 8 Oregon.
“I haven’t really talked to any other doctors about my knee, so just continuing to improve each and every day,” Rising told ESPN 700. “I know I’m getting closer. I need to keep making days count and hopefully soon, I’ll be ready to go."
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