October 26, 2010

Bucks injury situation gets worse

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The No. 11 Ohio State football team took another blow to its secondary in Saturday's win over Purdue in the Horseshoe.

With C.J. Barnett and Tyler Moeller already lost for the season, the Buckeye secondary took another major hit when reserve safety Corey Brown sustained a major knee injury late in the game.

"Corey Brown's going to be out for the year and the spring," said Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel in his weekly Tuesday afternoon press conference.

The injury for Brown - otherwise known as "Pittsburgh" Brown - hasn't been specified, but given the amount of time he is expected to miss, it could be safe to say that he tore his anterior cruciate ligament against the Boilermakers.

It is quite possible that freshman defensive back Christian Bryant could also be lost for the season, as Tressel confirmed Tuesday he is still in the hospital recovering from an infection in his foot.

Bryant was expected to be released from the hospital last week after having surgery on Thursday morning, but Tressel said he could be released from the hospital today or Wednesday.

When released, though, Bryant may not be ready to play football again for another six weeks. If Bryant is able to play after six weeks, Bryant could return for Ohio State's bowl game.

"His foot's doing good. The effects of all the medications and so forth, still haven't released him yet." Tressel said. "We hope here today or tomorrow, last I heard. But his foot is doing fine. I'm sure it will be six weeks or better before he can play football."

In Bryant's place against Purdue, Ohio State moved Jermale Hines to nickelback and started senior Aaron Gant at safety when the team plays in its nickel defense. In the team's base defense, the Buckeyes kept Hines in the game at safety.

The Buckeyes will also be without two linebackers this week, as senior Ross Homan and reserve Dorian Bell will be kept out yet again. Homan injured his ankle in the Wisconsin game and Bell has not played since sustaining a concussion against Indiana.

Homan could be back for the Penn State game in three weeks, as Tressel said he will resume putting pressure on his ankle this afternoon. Bell is on more of a week-by-week basis, but also could return against the Nittany Lions on Nov. 13.

"I think he will do a little land running today," said Tressel. "He's been running in water a lot. I don't think there will be any way that he would be ready for this weekend."

The Buckeyes lone injury on offense is to starting right tackle J.B. Shugarts. Shugarts has been struggling with pain in his feet all season, and that's something Tressel anticipates will continue.

Shugarts was only supposed to play 25 plays against the Boilermakers and Tressel said the junior played 39 snaps, grading a winning performance in the process.

However, the Buckeyes will continue to monitor his feet as the season progresses.

"As far as feet, I've said to you before, I don't know if he'll ever have good feet," Tressel said of Shugarts. "We're going to get as many plays from him as we can without hurting. The thing we don't want to do is further injure a guy. Now, right now, I don't sense from our trainers that it's an issue of it getting worse and worse every day. He's just got soar feet.

"They're not going to get unsore until he rests," Tressel continued. "Well, we're not going to be resting for a while. So he had bad feet last year and, you know, spring practice we pulled back a little. Winter training, we took a lot of load, he didn't do a lot of things, put him in the water a lot. We're doing everything we can."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at Ari@BuckeyeGrove.com.


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