But where and when is still an open question, since the exact diagnosis remains up in the air
If there's any good news out of Steve Spurrier's comments on Marcus Lattimore's leg injury, it's that it looks like South Carolina's star running back is likely to be able to play again. Perhaps not for South Carolina, but at least he'll be able to take the field somewhere.
Spurrier said the injury was significant, but discounted speculation Lattimore never would play football again. Lattimore has not used a redshirt season so he could take as long as necessary to recover and still return to the Gamecocks for the 2014 season.
"We're optimistic his football days are ahead of him," Spurrier said.
Again, somewhere. The best news on the prognosis side is that the worst-case scenarios haven't yet been mentioned by doctors. While Lattimore certainly has the opportunity to return for the Gamecocks if he wants to do so, the open question is whether he can or should. Part of that depends on where and whether he can get drafted if he heads to the pros. (This is another reason why college football and the NFL should allow players to test the waters like NBA prospects can, but that's a subject for another post.)
Spurrier said he doesn't know what Lattimore will do next, and that's probably as close as anyone can get. If Lattimore can run well enough at the combine to get drafted, he should go, assuming the money is likely to be as well as Lattimore can do. If he has to skip the combine but can still get on the field for South Carolina in 2013 to prove he can still play, that's probably the best course. Anything beyond that gets a little bit murkier. Wait and see will likely be the operative mode until we know exactly what we're dealing with.