Quarterback Mark Sanchez Dislocates Kneecap In Practice

Aug. 8, 2008

USC quarterback Mark Sanchez dislocated his left kneecap during pre-practice warmups today (Friday, Aug. 8).

The injury occurred as Sanchez jumped slightly while making a throw and he landed awkwardly. He was carted off the field, taken for X-rays and an MRI, then evaluated after practice by the USC doctors and athletic training staff.

It was a clean dislocation, with no complications (no ligament, cartilage or bone damage). His knee will be immobilized over the weekend and he will start rehab on Monday. He will be listed as day-to-day as of Monday.

Sanchez, a redshirted junior who started 3 games last season for an injured John David Booty, entered 2008 fall camp as the projected starter. He has completed 72-of-121 passes (.595) for 758 yards with 7 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in his career. Last year, he was 69-of-114 (.605) for 695 yards, 7 TDs and 5 picks. He started 3 times, leading USC to wins versus Arizona and at Notre Dame before losing by 7 points at Oregon.

USC's other scholarship quarterbacks are sophomore Mitch Mustain and redshirt freshman Aaron Corp. Mustain redshirted last season after transferring from Arkansas, where he started (and won) 8 games as a true freshman in 2006. He completed 69-of-132 passes (.523) for 894 yards with 10 touchdowns and 9 interceptions at Arkansas in 2006 (he came off the bench in an opening loss to USC and hit 4-of-6 passes and ran for a TD). Mustain was the national high school player of the year in 2005 out of Springdale (Ark.) High, a year after Sanchez was so honored while at Mission Viejo (Calif.) High. Corp was a 2006 prep All-American while leading Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High to the California state Division II championship.

Today was the third day of USC's fall camp. The 6-time defending Pac-10 champion Trojans open the season Aug. 30 at Virginia.

Quotes from USC head coach Pete Carroll:

'Mark dislocated his kneecap. They put it back in (on the field). There are no other complications. It's a day-to-day deal. We'll wait and see. He's real encouraged and the doctors are, too. It will be immobilized over the weekend, then he'll start rehab on Monday. It's day-to-day and we'll see how it responds.

'On the other side of this, it's an extraordinary opportunity for the other quarterbacks to jump in and fight for the job.

'Before practice, Mark was throwing and came down on the side of his foot. We'll have to wait and see. As is always the case in situations like these, this is an extraordinary opportunity for the other quarterbacks. We're so lucky to have guys like Mitch Mustain and Aaron Corp to jump in until Mark gets back.

'How we handle it and how we deal with it is what's important. Those guys jumped in today at practice and took the team down the field. Both of them are championship kids.

'The concern we have now is that we only have 2 quarterbacks. Who's going to be number 3 as insurance is the question. Somebody like (quarterback-turned-wideout) Garrett Green might get some work there now.

'Mark's encouraged, he's smiling and he knows he's going to be alright.'

Quotes from Mark Sanchez:

'It's a dislocated kneecap. I landed awkwardly when throwing. It's pretty clean. Nothing torn and no cartilage problems. It's the best case scenario. I'll start rehabbing on Monday and be back as soon as possible.

'I feel good about the other guys being able to fill in. It'll be a seamless transition. They'll do well.

'It was scary, frightening at first. The way they say these things happen, it could be a lot worse. It just hurt a lot when it happened, but it feels better now. It's day-to-day starting Monday. I have heard about people who come back from this in a short period of time and others in a long period. I'm hoping mine is short.

'I'm hoping to be back for the opener. I'll work to get back before that. I'll get back the fastest way possible.

'As soon as they said it wasn't an ACL or MCL, it was a relief. It's a little frustrating to have this happen, but it'll make me work hard.'

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