February 10, 2009

Back on Track

It's a sound Trinton Sturdivant says he will never forget. It's one he hopes he never hears again.

"I just heard everything crackle and pop," said Sturdivant, recalling the very moment last August when he tore three ligaments in his left knee during a scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

"It felt like my entire knee cap had dislocated. It was nasty," he continued. "My left knee had bent around and touched my right leg. That's when I knew there was something wrong."

But it wasn't until later that Sturdivant realized just how bad it was.

Besides tearing his ACL, the rising sophomore also tore his MCL and PCL, a devastating injury that ended Sturdivant's 2008 campaign long before it even got underway.

"It was during a play-action pass and I was going against Justin Houston and was going to run him up-field when out of nowhere as I turned someone fell into my leg," Sturdivant said. "I think it was Jarius Wynn. He fell into my leg as he was reaching for (Matthew) Stafford. He just lost his footing."

Initially, Sturdivant said he feared the very worst.

"Initially, it was a big blow to me and my family," he said. "Being that it was such a bad injury, at first we didn't know if I was going to be able to come back from it. But I'm doing fine now. I'm getting my strength back and hope to be back playing soon."

That day is definitely drawing closer.

Although he won't be ready to participate in spring drills that get underway March 17, Sturdivant reports that he is recovering is right on schedule and has been told by team trainers - that barring any setbacks - he'll be ready to go this summer, well in time for preseason drills.

"I've been told I'll be pretty much full go in the summer," Sturdivant said. "It was definitely a major injury, but I haven't seen any regression so I have no doubt that I'll be ready."

He's getting closer every day.

Besides doing some daily jogging, Sturdivant is also doing step-ups and is getting considerable work done in the weight room, with the exception of platform work.

"I'm not lifting as heavy as other guys right now," he said. "But I'm getting there."

Sturdivant credits former Bulldog and current frat brother Albert Hollis for helping get him through the tough times.

Bulldog fans will remember Hollis, a highly-touted running back from California whose career never got off the ground after tearing the ACL, MCL and LCL ligaments, which resulted in damaged nerves that kept him from ever seeing the field.

"Our injuries were similar in that it was a three-ligament injury, but he never got the full range of motion in his foot," Sturdivant said. "I didn't tear any veins, arteries or nerves."

Sturdivant said that he and Hollis speak on a regular basis.

"We've talked a lot about my situation, and he really helped me get through some tough times," Sturdivant said. "He showed me how to mentally get through the season, and little things I needed to do to stay focused on my goals, stuff like that."

During his recovery, Sturdivant said he did what he could to help his teammates along, but being that he was on the sideline, it wasn't easy to do.

But now that he's healing and can see the results of his hard work, life is once again good.

Sturdivant boasts that he's been able to maintain his playing weight of 310 pounds and is ready to re-establish himself as key member of Georgia's offensive line.

"Right now I'm in the same boat as everybody else. It's a new year, and there are five spots (on the offensive line) and the five best guys are going to fill them," Sturdivant said. "That's the way it's always going to be here, and that's the way it should be. I'm just excited about getting back out there. Period."

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