Knee and Spirits

Charlie Weis will find out just before spring ball if he needs to have surgery on his leg.

The Notre Dame head coach met with the doctor on Wednesday about the knee he injured when being hit on the sideline during the Michigan game back on Sept. 13th.

Weis' knee injury was compared more to a trauma, something that would happen in a car accident, rather than an occurrence that would go down during athletic competition.

The injury is that severe.

"My kneecap is fine," Weis joked with the media on Thursday evening.

"Everything else is pretty much gone. I thought it was really encouraging when they say well, you tore the ACL, the MCL, the PCL, the lateral meniscus and the posterior capsule, which I don't even know what it is. And then they throw in a fracture of your femur on top of it, that's a heck of a day.

"But with all those things being said, we'll rehab for awhile, see how strong we can get it, and then make a judgment. We kind of have a timeframe, if we have it done, it will probably be done early to mid-March, just before spring ball if it's done. I'm obviously hoping I can get it strong enough where I don't need to have it happen, but based off what they said, I wouldn't be very encouraged about that."

The MCL is something that repairs itself over time, but the other injuries just showed up as holes on Weis' x-ray.

"When you see when I'm walking, my leg gives so much, it's because the quad and hamstring are so weak." Weis explained. "That's what you work on. You work on building up the quad and the hamstring. Even if you have to have it done, you need to build them up anyway, so we'll go on about a 12-week program. I try to make time about an hour a day to go ahead and work on it, it's not exactly my favorite thing, but it needs to be done."

Weis has yet to watch the replay of his injury, when John Ryan was pushed into him on a play. He plans to be motoring around in a golf cart during spring practice.

Despite the bad news about his knee, practice this week has brightened Weis' spirits.

Coming off the tough 36-33 quadruple-overtime loss to Pittsburgh last Saturday, the Irish coaching staff wanted to shock the team heading into practice this week. They're working on all the same things they normally do in preparation for a game, but everything has been rearranged on the practice schedule.

"Well the most important thing was, Tuesday was a good practice," Weis began. "That's really, that's the day I was concerned with the most because if they were carrying that Pittsburgh flu, the hangover into Tuesday, it would've been a very, very bad thing. That's not the way it went, so I knew by the time we finished practice on Tuesday; That look it, you're just trying come up with some different way to get them to go, this isn't a gimmick, we're not trying to create gimmicks here, just trying something to get their attention and fortunately that seemed to pay off."

Another thing that has been lifting Weis' spirits is the kicking game.

After beginning the season just 1-of-7 on field goal tries, sophomore Brandon Walker has made seven of his last eight. Unfortunately, the miss came on a 38-yard attempt in the fourth overtime against the Panthers. Walker previously made four field goals earlier in the game to keep giving his team a chance to win.

Walker obviously still took the final miss pretty hard.

"He kicked the ball fairly well this week," Weis said. "I think with the support he got from everyone, and unilateral across the board, I think he just like everyone else, just looked forward to getting out there and just kicking again. Usually the best way for people to get things like that out of their system is to get out there and get back to work."

Tonight, Weis will be taking off of work, at least for a couple hours, to watch Brady Quinn make his first-career start for the Cleveland Browns. They host the Denver Broncos.

"I'll have it on at 8:15," Weis stated.

"I'm just excited for him, and I hope he's calm early because I know he'll play well as soon as the game gets going. But you know, he's been waiting a year and a half for this opportunity, so I think there will be a lot of Notre Dame fans tuning in tonight. And I know a lot of Cleveland Browns fans are really looking forward to it too, so it will be a good first step."

Weis doesn't see Quinn going back to the bench anytime soon.

"I feel very good, now that he is going to start to play, I just think it's going to be a matter of time."

Same goes for Weis' knee. Top Stories