Wes Lunt Addresses Durability Concerns

By now, the gruesome images have gone viral. When Louisville guard Kevin Ware broke his leg in the first half of the Cardinals' Elite 8 matchup with Duke on Sunday, the nation was both enthralled and horrified. That includes Oklahoma State sophomore quarterback Wes Lunt. His reaction to the bone-pierced skin was swift.

"I was watching the game, saw it, and turned the channel," Lunt said. "That was terrible. Hopes and prayers go to him."

To an extent, Lunt can relate to Ware. While their injuries were hardly similar, the photographic aftermath provides a little more context. When Lunt went down with a dislocated knee on the Cowboys' first offensive drive against Louisiana on Sept. 15, photos surfaced that made some cringe. Lunt's left kneecap was visibly out of place as he clutched his leg in pain.

"Everyone was saying, ‘You gotta look at this,'" Lunt said of the pictures. "But it made me sick. I'm very sensitive to stuff like that."

The play still resonates with Lunt. He remembers looking to throw a deep ball and feeling the edge pressure closing in. When UL cornerback Melvin White drug him to the ground from behind, Lunt called the pain "weird." When medical staff rushed to his side, Lunt was unsure of his future.

"I didn't know what the injury was," he said. "I just couldn't straighten my leg. At that time, I was probably thinking the worse – that I tore my ACL or something. But I was very blessed with injury."

It's a glass-half full approach to an issue Lunt gladly discusses: his durability.

After sitting out the following three games, Lunt returned to face TCU. He threw for 324 yards and a touchdown in a 36-14 victory. But just one game later against Kansas State, Lunt was sidelined once again. This time with a concussion, in turn ending his run as quarterback last season.

"I just didn't feel right, I was nauseous and dazed," Lunt said. "I continued the drive, but threw a pick."

Lunt understands it's impossible to completely prevent injuries, but he's taking steps to cut down the probability of being sidelined again. Improved conditioning over the offseason and working with strength coach Rob Glass gives Lunt confidence he can stay healthy.

"Injuries in the past haven't really happened to me; I hate to be labeled injury prone," Lunt said. "But if that's what they want to label me, that's what they want to label me. I just know that I'm going to come out every day, practice as hard as I can and play as hard as I can."

Lunt said last season was the first time he's dealt with severe injury. He plans on shrugging off any criticism about his durability as he continues to compete for a starting role next season.

"There's always going to be negative critics out there," Lunt said. "You've just got to do the best you can and help your team as much as you can."

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