September 30, 2008

Locker discusses injury

Locker touched on his surgery.

"I was pretty nervous about it at first, but they put me out, and I don't remember any of it. It went smoothly for me. Nothings sticking out - I think there's something in there that rounded it off and put all of the pieces back together."

When asked if he knew something was wrong after the play he injured his thumb, Locker explained.

"After the play was over, I tried to unbutton my strap and I couldn't. Then I took my mouth guard out and tried to put it in my helmet, and I couldn't do that either. So I knew something was wrong. I thought maybe I just bruised it or something and it was just sore, so I stayed in for the next couple of plays. When I threw it, I had no control over the ball. My thumb didn't help me at all throwing the ball, so I knew something was wrong with it."

Locker further explained what happened.

"I think I caught him. He kind of moved to the side right at the last minute, I stuck my hand out to get him and I think my hand got caught right on him."

Locker was wearing not only a cast on his thumb, but had his right arm in a sling.

"He [the doctor] said [to wear] the sling for a couple of days to keep the blood out of there. I think I'm casted when I go back in two weeks. After that, I don't know. Once I have the follow up, I'll know more."

When asked if he's open to playing another position while his thumb heals, Locker responded.

"Yeah, I'm definitely open to it. I'd rather be playing than standing on the sidelines. Whatever is in the best interest of this team, whether it's playing or not, I'll give it a shot."

When asked if he's confident that he can come back and play quarterback towards the end of the season, Locker replied.

"Yeah, I think as long as I'm really diligent with my rehab and make sure I'm doing everything I can to heal as fast as possible, I think that's a possibility."

Locker discussed his mentality towards playing another position that is much more phsyical than quarterback.

"Yeah, I understand that. It's definitely something that would factor into the decision I feel, but I've told you guys before, I don't want to live life scared or tentative. I want to enjoy it and have fun. I believe the best way to do that is to be on the field no matter where it is."

Locker discussed Head Coach Tyrone Willingham's current demeanor.

"He's a very mentally strong person who doesn't let those sorts of things get to him. He stays on course and keeps believing. This season isn't lost, there's still plenty of games left. Obviously 0-4 is not where we want to be, but we can still land on a positive note, so I think that's how he's kind of approaching it and that's how we all need to approach it."

Locker discussed what he'll tell the newly appointed starting quarterback Ronnie Fouch.

"Looking back now, during camp, he had two weeks when I was out with the hamstring, where he was able to get a lot of snaps with those guys and kind of get comfortable with them. I think they're all comfortable having him in there. He's a very confident player, a very talented player. I'm just going to tell him to have fun, enjoy himself and believe in himself, because he's good enough to be a really great quarterback at this level."

Locker discussed the healing process.

"I'll have to do some rehab stuff when it's done, because obviously it'll be in a cast for however long and it's not going to be full strength as soon as I get out of my cast. I'm going to have to do a little bit of rehab to make sure I'm ready to go."

Immediately following his injury, Locker was seen with an upbeat demeanor on the sideline, laughing with his teammates. His actions have drawn mixed reviews from fans. Locker discussed the issue.

"It sucks being injured and not being able to play, but to go out there and sulk and feel bad for myself and bring a negative vibe is not going to help anybody, especially those guys that are in the game. I needed for them to know I still believed in them, to know I was still there for them. I truly do believe that they can get it done and I felt like I needed to show them that. So me coming out and sulking and being down wasn't going to do anything positive for those guys. I was trying to be as good of a teammate as I could at that point and let them know that I had faith in them and I believed they could do it."

When asked if the fans' criticism bothers him, Locker responded.

"No, not at all. Obviously I feel bad that they felt that way, but like I said, I'm not one that's going to go out there and feel bad for myself - poor me. I just want to make the best out of a pretty bad situation, and I felt like I did that."

When asked what his initial reaction was after finding out he'd sidelined six to eight weeks, Locker replied.

"It's tough - that's a long time to know that you're not going to be able to strap it up and play. So it was difficult. It's something that's inevitable, and you've just got to work as hard as you can to get back as soon as possible."

Locker discussed the wanting to travel to Arizona to support his teammates and more specifically, Fouch.

"I'd like to be there for the guys, especially for Ronnie. He helps me when I'm out there with things that maybe I didn't see, and I try to do the same thing for him when he's out there. I feel like I'm really starting to understand the offense, what we're doing and what we want to accomplish. I really enjoy looking at the game and analyzing it from that point of view now. I understand what Ronnie's seeing when he's out there, I know what he's going through. It's nice to be able to talk to him on the sidelines and give him any input that I can to help him have success."

When asked if he has a role to keep the team together in it's tough situation, Locker responded.

"Definitely, I think everybody does no matter who you are and what situation you're in. It's up to all of us to help each other out and prepare each other to the best of our ability. I need to make sure that they know I have faith in them and that they have faith in themselves and believe in themselves. I think that's the biggest thing for us right now."

Locker hasn't had the best luck with avoiding injuries during his Husky career, and when he was asked if he feels snake bitten, Locker replied.

"No, it's just kind of a fluke deal. I don't know how many times I got hit other ways, then you go throw a block and something happens. It's just kind of a fluke deal, but it's part of the game, it happens."

When asked if he thinks the coaches will keep him from blocking in the future, Locker had this to say.

"It was part of the play, it was designed within the play. I'm just trying to give our guys a chance to get into the endzone, I'm always going to try to do that, so we'll see."

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