After suffering his second season-ending knee injury in as many seasons with the South Carolina Gamecocks, junior running back Marcus Lattimore is recovering from another knee surgery.
Lattimore, who had a dislocated kneecap as part of his latest injury, underwent surgery to repair ligaments in his right knee Friday in Birmingham. He has since returned to Columbia. Lattimore, who injured right knee during South Carolina’s Southeastern Conference game versus the Tennessee Volunteers earlier in the month, suffered a similar fate last season. The South Carolina’s rushing star’s 2011 season ended with a injury to his left knee.
Prior to his latest season-ending injury, Lattimore remained high on the draftboards of many NFL teams. Now, there’s a chance he might not be back on the field at all in 2013. Then again, he could be rushing for the Gamecocks this time next season.
In his injury-shortened junior season, Lattimore rushed 143 times for 662 yards and 11 touchdowns. Lattimore averaged 4.6 yards per carry in nine games. The versatile Lattimore also hauled in 26 receptions for 173 yards.
Lattimore, who recently turned 21, holds the South Carolina school record for touchdowns. He was a Heisman Trophy candidate in 2011 before his season ended prematurely when he suffered a knee injury in a win at Mississippi State. Lattimore ended his sophomore season with 818 rushing yards via 163 carries. The South Carolina native enjoyed a stellar debut season, rushing for 1,197 yards and scoring 17 rushing touchdowns as a freshman in 2010. Lattimore’s freshman campaign also had him grabbing 29 receptions for 412 yards and two touchdowns. His freshman season was so spectacular that he earned All-American honors.
Time will tell if and when Lattimore returns to the gridiron.
Steve LeMaster is a college football columnist for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter.