USC Football Mailbag Talks Knee Injuries and Abe Markowitz


We’ve been fielding your questions for our mailbag, so let’s celebrate Mailbag Monday on a rare Tuesday, by getting right into the burning topics on USC Football, as editor Michael Castillo answers your questions.

* * *

Ricky from Facebook asks: It’s very concerning hearing these kids go down with serious knee injuries like Farmer in spring and Mitchell this past week. I know there is only one Adrian Peterson, but what are the chances that these two extremely young players make full recoveries? For every Adrian Peterson, there are nine Steve Smith stories where the player is never, ever the same.

Michael: It’s definitely not an ideal situation, and every recovery is different, but knee ligament injuries are getting more and more treatable, so I’d say the odds are fairly good. Not too long ago, these injuries were often considered career ending knee blowouts or were at least expected to permanently hinder a player. Today, it’s a little different, and take Devon Kennard for example. As a senior in high school, Kennard tore the ACL in his right knee, and 12 months later was starting as a freshman at USC. Tom Brady tore both his ACL and MCL in 2008, and has bounced back like he was never injured. And don’t forget Willis McGahee, who tore three ligaments –the ACL, MCL and PCL– in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl. He was still drafted as a first rounder and when he returned to the game in 2004, he had two 1,000-yard seasons in his first two years. So while the Marcus Lattimores and Marcus Duprees of the world are memorable, there’s plenty of success stories that show that both technology and rehab techniques have evolved to improve recovery from knee injuries. A player still may never be completely 100 percent again, like Carson Palmer, but it’s not a proverbial death sentence like they used to be.

Jon from Facebook asks: Heard a rumor that Abe Markowitz is coming back, but there were some scholarship impacts (i.e. he could count as an initial counter). Any truth to those rumors?

Michael: Markowitz has been working out with the Trojans during voluntary summer workouts, but nothing has been confirmed publicly and surely not from Heritage Hall University Village. USC does have the space to account for an initial if that is the case, but it would still be a question of value given current recruiting limitations and Markowitz likely being a boost for depth and not an immediate candidate to start. That said, an extra center and an experienced one at that, may come in handy when replacing Khaled Holmes.

Alex from Facebook asks: Silas Redd is my favorite college ball player. I was wondering, how is his knee at this point?

Michael: Redd had a torn meniscus in spring camp, the same injury that Su’a Cravens suffered. It’s typically a 4 to 6 week recovery time and baring any unforeseen setbacks or new incidents, they’ll be completely healthy and ready to go come August 3rd, when fall practice opens.

* * *

To participate in our mailbag, write on our Facebook page, mention us on Twitter, or shoot us an email to