A Lisfranc sprain in his left foot will keep Ryan Torain from taking the field for Arizona State, but the senior running back plans to keep performing his responsibilities as a team captain to the fullest.
“It sucks that I can’t finish out the season, but I’m still going to be at every practice, every meeting,” Torain said on Thursday.
“I’m still going to be around. The only thing that changes is that I won’t be making plays.”
Torain will undergo surgery today to repair the damaged Lisfranc ligament, which is in the middle of the foot and helps stabilize the big toe. After two months of inactivity, he can begin rehabilitation.
The length of rehab will be clearer after the operation, but Torain said doctors are projecting about two months. If the prognosis is accurate, he might be able to participate in NFL scouting functions during the spring.
A Lisfranc sprain can be hard to recover from.
Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook is an example of a successful rehabilitation; however, for others, the ailment has been a career-ender.
“People say it’s a bad injury, but it goes on how you rehab and take care of yourself,” said Torain, listed as the No. 2 senior running back in the nation by ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper.
“Hard work is the key. My practice is rehab.”
ASU will try to fill the void primarily with a dual attack of Keegan Herring and Dimitri Nance. Herring’s specialty is quickness to the outside, while Nance could assume most of Torain’s between-the-tackles work.
“We’ll play it like we have been with those two,” coach Dennis Erickson said.
“They both will play. They are different backs. Dimitri is more like Ryan, and Keegan is Keegan. We’ll play them both, but I don’t have a plan right now.”
Junior-college transfer Jarrell Woods, who has not played this year due to an ankle sprain, is expected to return when the 12th-ranked Sun Devils take the field against No. 10 California on Oct. 27.
There are no plans to remove the redshirt from junior Shawn DeWitty, who is the biggest (6-foot-2, 217 pounds) of the ASU backs and had a 70-yard touchdown run during Thursday’s scout-team scrimmage.
“Jarrell Woods was playing well until he got hurt,” Erickson said. “With him and (Herring and Nance), and Preston Jones — who hasn’t played bad when he is in there — we should have enough.”
Torain, who ran for 1,882 yards and 12 touchdowns on 333 carries in his 19-game ASU career, was injured in the second quarter against Washington on Saturday.
“I felt something for a second, and it went away, so I thought nothing of it,” Torain said. “But then, I couldn’t walk, so I knew something was wrong. It felt like my foot gave out. …
“But I know that Keegan and Dimitri will step up huge, and it will be a big rest of the season to watch.”