Pleasant Returns, Apologizes for Crash

Article excerpt

Byline: Rob Moseley The Register-Guard

Redshirt freshman linebacker Eddie Pleasant returned to UO football practice Tuesday still bearing 75 stitches in his forehead from an auto wreck last week and saying he'd "like to apologize" to the family in the other car involved in the crash.

Pleasant faces a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving following the incident early Thursday morning, which police allege was sparked by a race between Pleasant and another driver. Pleasant's vehicle careened into oncoming traffic and collided with a minivan, injuring Jacqueline Dalton, 24, of Springfield. Dalton was released from the hospital later Thursday.

An infant child in the minivan was unhurt.

"There was kids in the car, and that kind of bothered me," said Pleasant, who otherwise declined to discuss specifics of the incident. "And I haven't got to talk to the lady. I'd like to apologize for what happened. But that's the only thing that really bothered me. I'm just happy everybody's safe, and there was no serious injuries."

Quarterback Darron Thomas and receiver Jamere Holland were passengers with Pleasant. Holland suffered a concussion and also resumed practice Tuesday; Thomas bruised his elbow but played Saturday at Washington State.

Pleasant said his stitches will be removed Thursday. The laceration just above his right eyebrow will be monitored closely this week in practice.

"If it holds up the next couple days, he should be fine," Bellotti said.

Pleasant's helmet doesn't come into contact with the wound, he said after practicing in non-contact situations Tuesday.

"Everything's looking good so far," Pleasant said. "I think I'm going to travel."

Pleasant is listed as the backup to outside linebacker Jerome Boyd on the depth chart for No. 23 Oregon's game Saturday against No. 9 Southern California in Los Angeles at 5 p.m.

Roper sidelined for second straight day with illness

Sophomore quarterback Justin Roper missed practice due to illness for a second straight day Tuesday, again delaying his return to action from a medial collateral ligament (MCL) sprain in his left knee suffered at Purdue.

In fact, MCL sprains affect the status of no less than three players for Saturday's UO-USC game. Oregon defensive end Terrell Turner is out after being injured at Washington State, and USC middle linebacker Rey Maualuga missed the last two days of practice following an injury Thursday at Oregon State.

Unlike an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), players who hurt an MCL usually are out a matter of weeks as opposed to months.

"It's a good ligament to tear, if you're going to tear one," Bellotti said.

Two factors make an MCL injury less serious than an ACL. First, the MCL receives direct blood flow, allowing it to heal without surgery. And unlike the ACL, which is inside the knee joint and limits its rotation, the MCL stabilizes the joint from the outside and can be more easily supported by a brace.

"The biggest thing is just the pain issue," UO associate director of athletic medicine Kevin Steil said. "Because it's still sore. It still may feel loose (or unstable). And that's one of the biggest things a guy has to get used to."

Without Roper, the UO quarterback depth chart is Jeremiah Masoli, Darron Thomas and Chris Harper. Even if Roper returns today, he still may not win the starting job.

"I don't think Justin has played enough football to have that position dedicated to him," Bellotti said. …