Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Buffs' Detmer Hopes to Put off Surgery until after Season

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Buffs' Detmer Hopes to Put off Surgery until after Season

Article excerpt

That annoying and superficial shredding of University of Colorado junior quarterback Koy Detmer's anterior cruciate ligament may keep him sidelined for almost a month - even if it will ultimately require reconstructive surgery.

"I'd like to do whatever I can to finish out the season," said Detmer, who suffered what is widely considered a chaotic knee injury in the first quarter of Colorado's 29-21 victory over Texas A&M on Saturday.

Not that he didn't make a few concessions.

"Obviously, I'm not going to be able to play for about two weeks," he said. "Then we have that bye week (Oct. 14). So I'm going to give it a little time, and hopefully come back for Iowa State" on Oct. 21 in Ames.

Detmer's seemingly absurd argument stems not from prodding by coach Rick Neuheisel, who apparently is skittish about the idea of jeopardizing Detmer's future health, but from a conversation Detmer's father, Sonny, had with an orthopedist who is a friend of the family.

"And he's all for me trying to go ahead and finish out the season," Detmer said. "It's something I really want to do. I'll have to have surgery at some point in time, but I want to put it off."

Detmer, who leads the nation in passing efficiency, was replaced Saturday by sophomore John Hessler. Hessler ran for two touchdowns and threw for another and was named Big Eight Conference player of the week - even if he wasn't necessarily prepared.

"Some days you can count the snaps I take in practice on one hand," he said. "I don't think A&M knew who I was." He was no stranger to Neuheisel, though.

"I chew on him more than any steak I've ever had," said Neuheisel, who gushed about Hessler's poise.

And Detmer, who had the gumption to complete a pass after being hurt when his leg snagged in the artificial turf, may end up being persuaded immediate surgery is the best answer. If he waits until after the season, he could be risking 1996 because such a procedure normally requires a 10-12 month recovery and rehabilitation.

The Rocky Mountain News notes that other athletes, such as Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, have performed with a mangled ACL while wearing a brace. But Elway's legs are far more developed than the dainty (175-pound) Detmer's, and quadriceps muscles probably are the key to pulling off a return.

Buffing Up The Rankings: After Colorado muzzled Texas A&M Heisman Trophy candidate Leeland McElroy to 52 yards in 23 carries - "We weren't going to let him come in here and campaign," Neuheisel said - Neuheisel was giddy.

"The road to the national championship goes through Boulder," he shouted to his team after the game.

The Buffs moved up to No. 4 in this week's Associated Press rankings, and Neuheisel said Monday that Saturday's victory "allows us the luxury of having our destiny in our own hands. …

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