Henry Josey is all too familiar with career-threatening knee injuries.
So when the junior tailback sidelined for the season after tearing the ACL, MCL and PCL in his left knee in a game last November learned of the horrific injury suffered by South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, he was aghast.
“That killed a lot inside of me,” Josey said. “Seeing a guy like that work so hard and then seeing his injury … It’s crazy, man. I feel sorry for him.”
Josey said he instantly compared Lattimore’s injury with his own.
Lattimore, a first-team All-America selection as a freshman in 2010 before tearing the ACL and MCL in his left knee in a game last season, had his right leg caught awkwardly between two Tennessee tacklers in the Gamecocks’ game last Saturday, resulting in a gruesome injury.
Lattimore, clearly distraught, was carted off the field with a towel draped over his head. Initial reports were that the former unanimous Freshman of the Year had broken his femur and patella and had torn the ACL, LCL, MCL and PCL in his right knee. The hyperextension of his knee caused injury to several of his ligaments, according to a South Carolina news release.
Josey said he intends to reach out to the downed star to offer advice and encouragement.
“Being through it, the mental process of it is the hardest thing to get through,” Josey said. “You can’t stay negative about it, you can’t stay on yourself about it or you won’t ever come back. And that’s the hardest thing. You have to keep a mentality that, ‘Yeah, I’ll be back,’ and keep people around you that are going to keep motivating you and pushing you.”
Josey said he wouldn’t blame Lattimore if he decided to never again strap up his chinstrap. Football was not on his mind after suffering his own devastating injury that fateful Saturday afternoon against Texas.
“You have to go with the process and see how it works out for you,” Josey said. “I’m sure he’ll be smart about it, and I know he’ll come back from it.”
As for Josey, he said he can’t complain about anything. His own rehabilitation is progressing, and he is inching closer to full health and expects to be 100 percent next season.
He said it’s been difficult at times for him to watch his teammates play while being relegated to the sidelines, but he has been using the time as an opportunity to study the Southeastern Conference opponents he’ll play next season.
“You just look it and say, ‘Oh, I can help them with that, I can help them with this,’” Josey said. “I mean, yeah, you want to get out there and play. But, at the same time, you’ve got to just stand by and be a teammate.”