Surgery should keep new USC football defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher off the field during Spring Camp, head coach Clay Helton revealed.
USC football fans will have to wait to get a look at Ishmael Sopsher. The former Alabama DT had to undergo surgery for compartment syndrome and may not be able to practice this spring.
Clay Helton revealed the news during a press conference, saying Sopsher had surgery in February. His status is uncertain, but Keely Eure of USCFootball.com noted "Helton didn't seem too confident that they will get to see him in spring camp."
That's a disappointment for the Trojans. Defensive line coach Vic So'oto would have been eager to get Sopsher rolling this offseason.
Sopsher transfered to USC from Alabama earlier this year with an eye on reinforcing the Trojan defensive line.
He was a Top 50 prospect in the class of 2019 but didn't make much of a mark with the Crimson Tide.
USC certainly has more use for the 6-foot-4, 330-pounder. The Trojans lost Marlon Tuipulotu to the NFL Draft after a stellar 2020 campaign. Veteran Brandon Pili is set to return to the lineup as a likely starter, but Sopsher could also contend for playing time at nose tackle.
Compartment syndrome is a nasty ailment. According to OrthoSportsMed.com, it is "a serious condition that occurs when there’s a large amount of pressure inside a muscle compartment." An injury, usually a fracture, causes painful swelling and pressure that prevents muscles and nerves from receiving enough oxygen and other nutrients. Symptoms include severe pain and numbness.
Recovery time varies widely. When walk-on quarterback Mo Hasan had to have compartment syndrome surgery in the fall, he missed the whole of the 2020 season.
USC's Spring Camp is slated to begin on March 30 and end on April 30. Since Sopsher's rehab could take weeks or months, it's tough to say when he might return at the earliest.
The one thing we do know is USC tends to side with caution when it comes to bringing players back from injury. The likeliest outcome is Sopsher makes his USC practice debut in Fall Camp.