Saturday, December 30, 2006

Taking Playing In Pain to a New Level

J. J. Milan, a senior defensive end for the Nevada Wolf Pack, leads his team in sacks. That's pretty good for a player who was told less than two years ago that a foot injury would keep him from ever playing football again.

From the story in the Miami Herald:

Milan had big plans for the 2005 season, but they ended on the final day of spring practice when he sustained a Liz Frank fracture in his foot when a teammate fell on the back of it while Milan was falling forward.

The foot had ripped tendons and cartilage was completely torn off the joint that holds his big toe and pinkie toe together. Three months later, when doctors took a look at the foot again, they told Milan to start looking into a new career.

''The X-rays of my foot looked like a jigsaw puzzle,'' Milan said. ``Doctors told my mom I'd never play again and that I was going to have arthritic pain the rest of my life.''

Seven screws, a bone graft from his shin and three reconstructive surgeries are holding together the right foot of the Western Athletic Conference's leader in sacks. But what allows him to ignore the pain is his drive to play the game he loves.

Click here to read more about this remarkable story of preserverance.

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