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August 24, 2011

Henry out after tearing ACL

Continuing a string of recent such injuries, quarterback Rob Henry suffered an injury to the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in practice Tuesday evening.

The sophomore quarterback, expected to be Purdue's starter to open this season, is out indefinitely, with the injury most likely costing him the 2011 season. A release from the school Wednesday evening said Henry will be evaluated further to determine the severity of the injury and expected length of recovery time.

But a source told GoldandBlack.com Wednesday afternoon that Henry is thought to have fully torn the ligament, in which case he'd be lost for the 2011 season.

Henry walked out of Mollenkopf Athletic Center following Tuesday's indoor practice with no apparent problems, seemingly without knowing he was severely injured.

"Rob Henry is a huge part of our football program, our heart goes out to him," Coach Danny Hope said in a release. "He was voted a captain by the team in the spring, and I know he will continue to inspire and push Robert (Marve), Caleb (TerBush), Sean (Robinson) and all of his teammates forward."

With Henry out and Marve being extremely limited in practice as he recovers from ACL surgery of his own, Purdue now likely turns to Caleb TerBush, who didn't play last season, to ascend to No. 1, followed by sophomore Sean Robinson.

Marve's availability is in serious question as soreness in his knee kept him out of much of preseason practice to date. Purdue's starter to open 2010, Marve doesn't appear to be in position to play extensively, at least not right away.

Throughout camp, Hope has expressed concerns about Marve's availability.

Henry is only the latest Boilermaker to suffer an ACL injury in the past year.

Last football season, Marve and receiver Keith Smith suffered ACL tears during the season, while Ralph Bolden suffered the same fate the spring prior.

The basketball teams lost forward Robbie Hummel and guard KK Houser to ACLs, while volleyball was hurt by the same injury to middle hitter Anna Drewry during the NCAA Tournament.

Henry, who also been limited in camp due to illness, played through a major injury last season, when he broke and mangled a finger on his right throwing hand.

"With him being hurt and still being able to play, it showed us that we need to protect better and step our game up just for him," offensive lineman Nick Mondek said a few days ago. "If he's willing to play hurt like that, then we have to play hurt or step up our play a little bit.

"He's one of the toughest and best quarterbacks I've ever been around. Right there, it proves we'll do anything for him."

Last season, Henry played as the backup to Marve during the non-conference season, but was inserted as the starter when Marve tore his ACL vs. Toledo in Week 4, sustaining the injury for the second time in three years.

After leading the Boilers to an upset over Northwestern and a win over Minnesota, Henry suffered the gruesome finger injury at Ohio State the next week.

After missing a week, Henry was in and out of the lineup before being healthy enough to start the final two games vs. Michigan State and Indiana. In all, he threw for nearly 1,000 yards, with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions; he was also Purdue's leading rusher with 547 yards and four more scores.

Considering its injuries last season - Purdue played four different quarterbacks, lost three receivers to season-enders and didn't have Bolden - Hope had tried to do everything possible this training camp to lessen the possibility of injury, including shortening practices and severely limiting tackling.

As camp ended Sunday, he was asked whether the scale-backs were worth it, knowing that he'd likely have a healthier team for the opener Sept. 3.

"They have to be worth doing, because we've already done them," Hope said then. "Absolutely, I believe in them 100 percent.

"... I'm glad we've done what we've done. We're a healthier football team, and I'm assuming we're going to tackle well, but at least we have bodies to do it with and that's what's most important to our football team right now. We want to have a lot of good healthy bodies to start the season off with."




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