Saturdays have been the toughest days for freshman linebacker Reggie Cribbs. He's sat out the entire season after undergoing surgery for a stress fracture, and the result is exactly what he hoped to avoid this season, watching games from the sidelines.
"It's been very tough, especially the games where the linebackers are playing well," Cribbs said. "I wish I was out there with them. And the games they are playing badly, I wish I was there for them. So it's been kind of hard. It's the first time I've been sitting out since I've been playing ball, almost 10 years."
Cribbs was expected to contribute this season as a true freshman, one of the primary reasons he chose Wisconsin last year. He did not want to sit out a season of football. But when he brought his home doctor's X-rays to Madison, the Badger team doctors recommended he have surgery.
Last season, Cribbs played at less than 100 percent after a stress fracture suffered during his junior year. Now is the first time he's truly addressed the injury and allowed it to heal.
"I thought it was going to heal, and it never healed. That's why I had the surgery," Cribbs said. "The team doctors here saw my x-rays and said I needed to do something about it, because it started hurting again. It was just re-aggravating what I had before. It never healed the first time."
Cribbs has rehabbed every day and attended team meetings and practices, but other than running, he has not practiced himself.
He's glad he had the surgery because he will be able to start his college career next season and hopefully never look back.
"That was the reason I got the surgery, so I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore," Cribbs said. "It was a stress fracture, but now I have a rod in there and it's not going to break at all. That was the reason I got the surgery in the first place, to be done with it."
While sitting out football has been tough, Cribbs is not miserable. He is enjoying college life and being a part of the team.
"It's everything I expected it was going to be," Cribbs said. "My classes are going pretty well. I love my teammates. They are cool guys, even the seniors. They are all cool guys. The coaches are all cool. Even though I'm hurt, they still treat me like I'm one of the guys, so I love the atmosphere."
Cribbs hopes when he returns to the field next season, he will be able to contribute, as he was expected to this year.
"That's the plan. I'm always in the meetings and everything learning my stuff so when I do come back I won't have to catch up," Cribbs said. "I'll just have to go out on the field and perform. I'm planning some good stuff for next year, to contribute however I can."
Reggie Cribbs Update
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