Is There a Doctor in the House?

CLEMSON – It's not a good time for the Clemson football team as eight starters and a key backup either have debilitating injuries or are sick with the flu. And one is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday and will miss a minimum of two games. As of now, seven of the starters are listed as questionable, at best.

The injury list includes star receiver Aaron Kelly, who is very ill with the flu. He missed practice Monday night and had to see a doctor, who administered a shot earlier that day. Offensive lineman Chris McDuffie, who didn't play against Duke, is still banged up from the previous week with a sprained ankle.

Defensive end Phillip Merling has been nursing a bad ankle and was completely ineffective against the Blue Devils, Tigers head coach Tommy Bowden said. Starting defensive tackle Rashaad Jackson, who also didn't play due to a knee injury, is still listed as questionable for Wake Forest.

Three players, tight end Michael Palmer, wide receiver Tyler Grisham and cornerback Crezdon Butler, each sustained a concussion against Duke. They were at practice Monday night, but no hitting drills took place. Bowden said he didn't know whether any of them would be able to sustain any hits on Tuesday.

Then there's the other starting cornerback Chris Chancellor, who has a bad sprained ankle and was unable to do hardly any of the drills Monday night. He received treatment on his ankle three times Sunday, twice on Monday and will get at least on more on Tuesday.

"I tried to back-peddle on it a little bit and it still kind of hurt," the redshirt sophomore said. "(Tuesday) I'll try to go full speed and if I can't go full speed, then I'll keep on getting treatment and hopefully I'll get it right."

Finally, there's reserve linebacker and special teams player Scotty Cooper, who hurt his knee Saturday and is scheduled to have his knee scooped Tuesday afternoon. He said the doctors believe it's just torn cartilage, but that they will know more when they look inside.

"It was a little sore in practice last week and when I got in the game, I got cut or something like that and I got hurt," Cooper said. "I've been doing pretty good and rotating in a good bit and having an impact on the team, so it's a real disappointment. But, oh well, I can't do nothing about it."

Bowden said he had to convince Cooper to let the doctors operate now rather than waiting until the end of the season.

"Cooper's the type of guy where he thinks he could shoot this thing up and go play," Bowden said. "But I told him today, this ain't something you shoot up and go play. He'll cut his leg off to play. He's one of the toughest and meanest guys we've got."

Cooper said he hopes to be back by the South Carolina game.

"We're probably as beat up now as we were after that Virginia Tech game," Bowden said. "But injuries go around. You just have to hope somebody steps up."

Quick hits: The quote of the day belong to Bowden, who was talking about how his team definitely won't overlook Wake Forest, despite all the media's attention on the Boston College game in two weeks.

"They got the trophy everybody wants," he said of the defending ACC champs. "The champions are coming to town Saturday. The ones that didn't fold at the end of the year playing the ones that did fold at the end of the year."

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