Senior tailback Zurlon Tipton’s season has ended early due to injury before, and it appears likely it has again.
Tipton had surgery on Wednesday for his broken ankle – suffered in the first quarter of CMU’s 59-9 loss at Michigan on Saturday – and is not expected to return this season, Central Michigan coach Dan Enos said Thursday during his “Sideliners” radio show.
“I think there will be an opportunity for him to return for a sixth year,” Enos said. “I obviously don’t get to make that decision. He’s had a season-ending injury once, and now this is twice and these are the guys that qualify for a sixth-year medical hardship. Again, I don’t know if he’s going to go down that avenue right now – it’s way too early to tell for him. But I know he’s extremely disappointed. As I told him, things happen for a reason. Things happen to everybody, and something good’s going to come out of this. He’s just got to stay positive and believe in that. Ultimately, he’ll rise above it.”
Tipton suffered a season-ending injury in 2009, his freshman season, and was granted a medical redshirt. Should he decide to try to play again next season, he’ll have to apply for a medical hardship waiver with the NCAA.
Offensive lineman Jake Olson and receiver Jerry Harris, both in their sixth season, have both successfully been granted those waivers.
Kater: ‘I couldn’t lift my arm’
Junior quarterback Cody Kater could return sooner than originally anticipated after it was determined he did not sustain a complete break to his clavicle.
Kater also left Saturday’s game, following a hit from a Michigan defensive lineman. Originally, team doctors feared a broken collarbone and that he would be out at least six to eight weeks.
After further inspection, “they didn’t say anything was broken all the way through, (I) just had a separation.” Now, he’s only expected to miss four to six weeks.
“I came off to the sideline, just trying to work my arm out,” Kater said. “It kind of felt different; it felt weird. But by the time,it was halfway through when the defense was out there, they had a good idea that something was definitely wrong. I couldn’t even lift my arm up to throw a football.”
Sophomore Alex Niznak will start Saturday against New Hampshire.
Contact Aaron McMann: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @AaronMcMann.