Washington Has Knee Surgery

Damien Washington's prolific senior season has been put on hold by a knee injury that required surgery.

Discomfort in his knee led to an unfortunate discovery for the North Carolina commitment.

"My knee was hurting and I went to see [my athletic trainer] and he said I had the symptoms of a torn meniscus," Washington said. "So I went and got an MRI on my knee and that's when I found out [for sure] it was torn."

At some point during the impressive start of his senior season, Washington tore his meniscus. The 6-foot, 166-pound athlete from Kannapolis (N.C.) Brown had an MRI on the knee a little over two weeks ago and surgery last week.

Washington, who has already missed three games, hopes to only be sidelined for, at most, three more contests.

"Hopefully, I'm only out for two more weeks," Washington said. "Hopefully, I'll be healthy enough to play against Hickory Ridge [on Oct. 14]. If not Hickory Ridge, I'll be ready for Northwest [Cabarrus on Oct. 21]."

Brown has won the three games Washington has missed, pushing its season record to 6-1.

"Fortunately, the team is doing well," Washington said. "I just wish I would be out there helping them along. But they're doing real well without me. [Opponents] can't key on one player any more – even though that's not how it was in the first place. They thought I was the star, but it was everybody – not just me."

Coincidentally, former teammate and current Tar Heel Travis Riley went through a similar situation a year ago. After verbally committing to UNC before the season, Riley suffered a knee injury – albeit more serious – which temporarily derailed his senior season.

"It's real weird," Washington said. "He got hurt after he committed. I ended up getting hurt after four or five games. It's real odd, because you wouldn't expect the same thing to happen again to a running back. The running back expects to be carrying the load for the team."

Although he hasn't yet, Washington says he might reach out to Riley to discuss dealing with the mental side of sustaining a knee injury.

Washington has, however, spoken to the UNC coaching staff.

"They really haven't said a whole lot, because I guess it's not one of those season-ending injuries," Washington said. "It's an injury that I can come back from after surgery and everything will be going good."

Most of Washington's recent communication with UNC has been through wide receivers coach Charlie Williams. However, he also speaks often with Everett Withers and John Shoop, and Allen Mogridge writes him regularly.

Outside of the upcoming ACC bout with Miami, Washington, who attended UNC's season opener, is unsure of the next time he'll be in Chapel Hill.

"I haven't really made a decision on the rest of them, but I know Miami I'll be at," Washington said.

Washington says his UNC official visit will likely take place after the season.

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