After his horrific season-ending leg injury last Friday, we’ve been waiting for an update on UCF star quarterback McKenzie Milton. That update came early Tuesday afternoon, when Milton’s family released a statement through Tampa General Hospital about his surgery and condition.
Milton was injured in the second quarter of UCF victory over USF at Raymond James Stadium. He was hit in the right leg while planting on a quarterback scramble and crumbled to the ground with a badly dislocated right kneecap and leg.
ESPN never showed replays of the injury and Milton was on the ground for several minutes being tended to by medical personnel from both UCF, USF and Tampa Fire Rescue paramedics. The concern was not only for Milton’s kneecap dislocation but also for potential nerve damage for his leg. And, further in some cases, injuries like this one can even become a life-threatening situation with blood flow and his organs.
Milton was rushed from the game to Tampa General Hospital downtown, where surgery was performed later on Friday to help nerves in the legs that had been damaged by the injury.
Full statement from Tampa General Hospital: pic.twitter.com/gUkd98o52R
— Joe Kepner (@JKepnerWFTV) November 27, 2018
His injury is similar to that of Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller suffered in a game in New Orleans a year ago. Miller was hospitalized for an extended period of time with the same concerns about possible nerve damage and slight possibility of life-threatening situation. Miller has not returned to professional football since the injury last year.
While it is possible that Milton could be released from the hospital prior to UCF’s American Conference Championship Game rematch with Memphis Saturday afternoon, it’s more likely that he will still be hospitalized for the foreseeable future, while they treat the injury.
The injury derailed what has already been an amazing last two years from Milton piloting the nights. He has 79 total touchdowns, which is more than any player in FBS football the last two seasons. The Knights also haven’t lost a game in over 700 days dating Back to December of 2016 with Milton at the helm for all, but one of them.
It’s entirely possible that Milton will still be voted as the American Conference offensive player of the year, as he won the weekly award for the league four times already this season.
The Knights will go to redshirt freshman Darriel Mack to start in Milton’s place Saturday against the Tigers. Mack started in place of Milton earlier this year after Milton took a hard hit and suffered a right ankle sprain in their dramatic 31-30 win over Memphis in October.
Mack filled in from the second quarter on in Saturday’s 38 – 10 victory over the Bulls finishing with only modest numbers. He was 5-14 passing for 81 yards and had 51 yards rushing on 13 carries. Still, the Knights pulled away running the ball on USF and were never threatened.
UCF has also announced that they will hand out 50,000 Hawaiian flower leis for fans to wear in support of Milton and his injury for Saturday’s game.
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