South Carolina tight end Busta Anderson had surgery on Tuesday to repair his right triceps brachii and will almost certainly miss the entire 2014 season while healing and rehabilitating the muscles. Anderson suffered the injury when stiff-arming a defender during an April 5 scrimmage.
It was originally hoped that Anderson could avoid surgery and stay on the shelf four just four weeks before being cleared to return to action close to beginning of fall practice, but team physician Dr. Jeff Guy concluded that the tear was severe enough that it would need to be surgically repaired.
Immediately after surgical repair, the arm is immobilized in a splint or brace for about two weeks. After this, physical therapy is initiated to help slowly regain elbow motion. Initially only gentle exercises are allowed so that tendon healing is not disrupted. Around four to six weeks after surgery, active motion exercises, done without assistance of a physical therapist, are started. Once full range of motion is restored, strengthening exercises can begin, usually at four to six months after surgery. Most patients can expect to recover close to their full range of motion and strength at a year after surgical repair.
Because Anderson still has a redshirt year to burn and the Gamecocks are plenty deep at tight end, it's hard to imagine that this is an injury that the coaching or medical staffs will feel comfortable rushing him back from. In his junior season, Anderson caught 17 passes for 235 yards and no touchdowns. He was a bit more productive during his sophomore campaign, snagging 14 passes for 271 yards and five touchdowns.
Rising junior Jerell Adams will likely take over as South Carolina's No. 1 tight end while Drew Owens, Kelvin Rainey, Jacob August, and Kevin Crosby -- when he gets to campus in the fall -- will compete for backup duty. Adams caught 13 passes for 187 yards and a pair of touchdowns as a sophomore.