Pryor Updates Knee, Prepares for Junior Season
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS – As a sophomore, Terrelle Pryor led Ohio State to an 11-2 season and a 26-17 victory over Oregon in the Rose Bowl. After suffering a devastating loss at Purdue in October, the 6-foot-6 quarterback carried the Buckeyes to six-straight wins down the stretch despite playing on a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in his left knee. Although the injury limited his mobility late in the season, it was expected that Pryor could make a full recovery without surgery in the off-season because of the way PCL injuries are typically treated today. But when the pain in his knee lingered in the weeks following the Rose Bowl, team doctor Chris Kaeding decided to take a close look.
Photo by Jim Davidson
“We just thought I'd strengthen it, but when Dr. Kaeding went into it, there were a lot of things wrong with it,” said Pryor, who went under the knife for arthroscopic surgery three weeks ago after talking it over with OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel.
“We just felt that if we did it now it would be better.”
The decision to have the surgery in February knocked Pryor out for a large portion of winter conditioning, but it should allow the knee to be ready for the start of spring practice, which begins on April 1 and runs through the annual Scarlet and Gray Spring Game on April 24.
“It's a minor surgery,” Pryor said Sunday at a video game fundraiser for Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT), a neurological disorder from which his father suffers.
“Some people come back in a week. Some people, it just depends on how you heal. We are just taking a slow process because we don't have to (go fast).”
It may have only been minor surgery, but it was still surgery all the same. While Pryor feels confident he will be ready for the start of spring ball now, he may not have felt quite as positive about the decision in the days following his operation.
“I laid at home for about five days and then I went in and started to do upper body work. My upper body got real weak because I was sitting at home taking pain pills and I lost a lot of weight because I wasn't really eating,” he said.
“So I'm going to start getting back with the team workouts. It kind of sucks because you can't work out with your teammates, but I finally get back to get with them soon so I am happy about that.”
According to friend and fellow quarterback Kenny Guiton, Pryor participated in a 7-on-7 drill last Sunday for the first time since the surgery, and looked good throwing the ball despite the fact he wasn’t putting too much strain on the knee.
“He did pretty good, so that was a plus for us,” said Guiton, who could compete with Joe Bauserman for the backup quarterback job in 2010.
“We don’t do too much moving around in 7-on-7, so I haven’t gotten to see him move around as much but he looks all right right now. He’s back in the weight room and he’s all right to me.”
Guiton also spends a good amount of time with Pryor away from the Woody Hayes Athletic Center and said he hasn’t noticed the knee giving him problems in any other areas of his life.
As their starting quarterback and the face of the offense, the Buckeyes are certainly going to take things slow with Pryor as he recovers from the surgery. He can’t officially work with quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano, or team advisor Joe Daniels, until spring ball, but Pryor is already putting in work on his form and footwork with strength and conditioning coordinator Eric Lichter.
“Me and coach Lichter, we do a lot of drop backs and accuracy throws and stuff like that. We are trying to get some accuracy going and we have gotten a lot better at it and we are going to continue to work at it,” said Pryor, who has yet to do any cutting since the surgery.
“We have been doing all types of stuff and we will get into it a little more when I can start cutting and stuff.”
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