Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 9/23/2013 7:55 PM

Sour finish to Novoselsky's football season

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  • Stevenson lineman Zach Novoselsky, left, will be sidelined the rest of the season after surgery to address a broken leg and torn ankle ligaments.

      Stevenson lineman Zach Novoselsky, left, will be sidelined the rest of the season after surgery to address a broken leg and torn ankle ligaments.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer


At least being laid up after surgery can come with some sweet perks.

Stevenson offensive lineman Zach Novoselsky has been munching away ever since he came home from the hospital.

He had surgery last Tuesday to repair torn ligaments in his left ankle and a broken left fibula, injuries he sustained last week in Stevenson's win over Zion-Benton.

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Novoselsky, who earned a scholarship to play football at Western Michigan, is now out for the season.

"People are stopping by the house all the time and they're bringing me all kinds of good stuff," Novoselsky said. "My friends and teammates, they're bringing me cookies and sweet stuff like that.

"It's good, but I might be 400 pounds soon. That's why I was glad to get some fruit from Willie."

Willie Bourbon is Stevenson's quarterback.

"It's nice to know my quarterback is looking after me," Novoselsky said.

Of course, Novoselsky is used to looking out for Bourbon. And he is beyond bummed that he won't be able to do that anymore this season.

Novoselsky had two plates and seven screws inserted into his lower leg and around his ankle. The break in the fibula, which occurred at its lowest point, was clean and relatively minor, but the ligament damage was extensive and made the overall injury much more serious.

"It was a run play up the middle and my center and right guard took the nose guard and kind of threw him in the air and he landed on my left leg," Novoselsky said. "My ankle kind of got trapped under there."

For the next five weeks, Novoselsky will be on crutches as he transitions from the soft cast he has on now to a hard cast and then a walking boot.

"It's definitely tough," Novoselsky said. "All the work with my teammates this summer to get ready for this season, all the early morning workouts, and now I can't play. Sitting on the sidelines, watching the game from there is rough. I'm a competitor and I want to play.

"I'm just going to try to help any way I can. This is something I just have to come to terms with."

Novoselsky was in the same boat last spring during baseball season. He tore the labrum in his right shoulder prior to the season and his throwing motion was compromised, so he was able to only hit for the Patriots.

His plan was to have shoulder surgery after football season.

Now, he'll wait until he is off crutches before he returns to the hospital for the shoulder surgery.

Novoselsky says that, despite his growing laundry list of injuries, the coaching staff at Western Michigan remains very upbeat about his future there. In fact, head coach P.J. Fleck called Novoselsky as soon as he heard about the injury.

"Coach Fleck talked to me and my parents and told us that everything was the same with my scholarship and that I would recover from this and be even stronger and that they would help with my rehab," Novoselsky said. "He was really supportive and I don't think a lot of coaches would say all that.cga

"That makes me feel pretty good and I think it will make rehab easier because I know I have a lot to look forward to."

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