It was a highly anticipated return to the football field for Missouri running back Henry Josey who played in his first game since a Nov. 12 knee injury suffered in 2011 put his dream of a football career on hold. However, through perseverance, hard work and determination Josey starred in his return for the Tigers and led the team in rushing in their win over Murray State.
Josey had rushed for 1,149 yards, nine touchdowns and a staggering 8.5 yards per rush entering that fateful game 2011 vs. Texas and looked like one of the premier running backs in the country.
Dr. Pat Smith was the surgeon who performed the operation to repair the torn ACL, MCL, meniscus and patellar tendon in what was potentially a career-threatening injury. ”It’s a tragic fluke, a one-in-a-million type of injury, and, unfortunately, to a guy who is so gifted with speed and mobility and agility,” Smith told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Fast forward to the Tigers season opener to see Josey in the backfield behind quarterback James Franklin, and any fan of sport had to have a soft spot in their heart to see him back in the fold after all that he endured to get back to this level.
Sharing carries early in the game with Russell Hansbrough, it was Josey who made the game’s biggest play midway through the third quarter as he raced around right end and scampered for a 68-yard touchdown, his first in nearly 22 months.
Josey finished with 13 carries for 113 yards which averaged out to 8.7 yards per carry and the long touchdown run. He led the team in both categories as Missouri started their season on a productive note.
The health of Josey could be one of the best stories in the 2013 season as he continues to show the form that made him one of the best backs in the nation in 2011.
He’s come so far to get back to where he is that you have to believe if he can come back from a potentially career-ending injury, helping Missouri to a bowl game would be as easy as taking the handoff.