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With all the hits Austin Rogers took as a quarterback for the Crystal Lake South football team this season, it comes as a shocker that the knee injury he suffered without any contact Wednesday night in the Gators' overtime basketball win over Marian Central would be the one that would sideline him.
"It was just a mini hop-step and everything went to pieces," said Rogers, the Fox Valley area's leading scorer at 23.3 points per game this season. "I never felt that pain (before) and it popped."
Rogers, who never suffered a significant injury before, received the news from Dr. John Daniels of Crystal Lake Orthopedics, who examined Rogers and phoned the family Thursday to confirm that MRI showed a torn ACL, meniscus, a grade-2 MCL sprain and damage to his kneecap.
"It's an unfortunate injury, it's tough for him. You feel bad for him. It's a tough situation for him and the family," said Gators coach Matt LePage, who was surprised to see Rogers at practice on Thursday. "He's such a unique kid. Most kids usually take a day off, spend time with their parents. Of course, (Austin) comes to practice."
The 6-foot-2 guard will wait a couple weeks for the knee to drain before surgery but the blow comes at a significant point for the Gators.
His 28 points against Marian helped CL South improve to 13-4 overall, one of its more promising seasons in recent years. Now Rogers has to support his team from the bench, where he watched his good friend Collin Wagner nail the game-winning 3-pointer Wednesday in Rogers' final game as a Gator.
"Try to stay positive, be there for the kids, be a part of team, to get them motivated," said the 6-foot 2 Rogers. "This year's been great and there's something about this basketball team."