Missing Pieces of the Cardinal Puzzle

Injuries always take some of the fun out of spring practice, but this year's list of walking and non-walking wounded is a little disturbing. But fear not, many of the missing are making progress in their respective recoveries and should be joining the team sooner than later. Read on for player-by-player details on the various missing pieces of the 2008 Cardinal's still-to-be-assembled puzzle.

Stanford's 2008 spring football kicks off Tuesday, but plenty of players will be missing some or all of the 15 practices, for reasons as far-ranging as injuries to roles on the baseball team to a Mormon mission. Here's a complete breakdown of every player that Coach Jim Harbaugh mentioned, in his Monday afternoon presser, would be missing part of spring ball 

Name                         Reason                                  Expected Return

Brian Bulcke              Right shoulder surgery            Back to contact in the beginning of June

Jim Dray                    Left knee and ACL injuries     Possibly back in early September. 

"September 1, September 6 is a possible return date for football," Harbaugh said. "He was hurt in the TCU game and his injury report was 'cannot attend.' ACL, other three-letter initials, it was as bad as it can be. We hope he'll be back in September."

Sione Fua                  Mormon mission                     Second half of spring ball, optimistically 

"He should be back in school for spring quarter. So possibly he'll be back for the second half of spring ball, we'll have Sione back. In our recruiting class, we count Sione as a guy who's coming back and really bolsters that recruiting class that much more."

Toby Gerhart          Baseball                                   After spring ball 

"He's playing baseball DH, but hopefully by the end of the week will be back in the field."

David Green              Back surgery                           Day-to-day 

"David Green had back surgery four weeks ago and it was a three-week rehabilitation, but he's been out running. He's someone we've got to constantly monitor, make sure we're on treatment with him and there are no relapses. It was a successful surgery to his back. The lumbar, it sounds more serious than it is. He had back pain about one month before reporting to camp and just was not effective at all as a kicker due to that back pain last year."

Levirt Griffin              Hip arthroscopy                         June

Austin Gunder            Unspecified injury                      After spring ball 

"He's off crutches now, and is feeling no pain."

Kellen Kiilsgaard        Baseball                                    Most of spring ball 

"He's a guy trying to do both in spring and how it works is if he's practicing football and baseball, then he comes to football. If it's football practice and a baseball game, then he goes to the game, as long as he's not sitting on the pine. [Smiles.]"

Anthony Kimble           Shoulder                                  Second half of spring ball

Owen Marecic             Shoulder surgery                      After spring ball

Chris Marinelli            Shoulder surgery                      After spring ball

Pat Maynor                  Ankle surgery                          Mid-March. 

"Ankle surgery in Week 11. We expect his return in the middle of March, so he's back for the second half of spring ball."

James McGillicuddy    Fractured toe in winter conditioning     4-6 weeks 

"I have to give him a lot of credit. He missed his first two seasons with a serious patella tendonitis injury and I'm almost calling him the Comeback Kid. This guy has comeback from really thinking he was done with football and then showing in winter conditioning he could be a contributor to our football team. Unfortunately, he's out for spring ball because he needs all the football he can get."

Marcus Rance               Labrum                                     Day-to-day

Allen Smith                    Fractured kneecap                     Summer, optimistically 

"He tore his patella tendon in September against Oregon, the third play. It was a successful surgery and then two weeks ago, he fractured his kneecap. He was doing leg press in rehab. So it's a pretty big setback. It's still possible for him to be back for the '08 season, but not 100% that he will." [Not good news]

Ekom Udofia                Fibula fracture                            Second half of spring ball, optimistically


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