In the wake of yesterday’s news that Terry Wilson is out for the season with a torn patellar tendon, Mark Stoops started his weekly press conference by expressing his sympathy for the junior quarterback and thanking him for leading Kentucky to an incredible 12-3 record over the last 15 games.
“Obviously very disappointed for Terry Wilson and greatly appreciate what Terry has done for us. The leadership he brings to this team and the way he’s played in the past year and two games. It’s been a long time since somebody’s helped us win 12 out of the 15 starts that he had. That’s quite an accomplishment for Terry. I believe that only Alabama in the SEC has a better record over the past 15 games than us. So, Terry’s a big piece of that and to be our starting quarterback and to lead us to 12 victories out of 15 opportunities is saying something about him. So, he’s going to be missed. We appreciate him.”
Although patellar tendon tears among the toughest knee injuries to come back from, Stoops said he expects Terry to make a full recovery, noting that this is the same injury Darius West came back from a few years ago.
“I do anticipate a full recovery from that. Should not be an issue. Very similar, really the same injury that Darius West had and Darius came back with no hiccups from that whatsoever.”
“He’s a resilient guy and this injury is very clean,” Stoops added later. “I know there’s been speculation out there. It’s a clean injury. It’s better than some of the alternatives. His ligament is totally fine. His cartilages are all fine. So, we need to repair this and he’ll be out for the season but he’ll be back with no side effects.”
Once the swelling in Terry’s knee goes down, he’ll have surgery to repair the tendon and rehab will begin. Because Terry already redshirted a season at Oregon, he cannot apply for a medical redshirt for a sixth season. Next season will be his final year at Kentucky.
“No,” Stoops said when asked about a medical redshirt. “Terry was three-for-three [three years to complete three years of eligibility] so it won’t matter. Next year will be his last year.”
One of the most upsetting things about Terry’s injury is that it came after an offseason of hard work, the results of which we were just starting to see on the field. In Kentucky’s first two games, he was 33-52 (63.5 percent) for 360 yards and two touchdowns. He also had 44 net rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground.
“It is what it is. I just feel for Terry and appreciate what he did and I will say I’m just proud of the way he’s been playing and progressing. He’s looked very, very good in the first two games and looked good all summer. He wasn’t perfect but he looked much more comfortable and all the things he worked on for the offseason were coming to fruition here this season. He was getting better and better so I just feel for him because I know the work he put in. But again, he’ll bounce back and make a full recovery.”
Stoops acknowledged that the news has been tough on the team, but is confident his players will turn the page today to begin preparing for Florida.
“We all feel terribly for Terry. As I told the team afterwards, I could tell just by being in the locker room after the game on Saturday that guys were disappointed and flat and really felt for Terry.”
“I was a bit concerned because I tried to pick them up a little bit after the game, you know? And they will. They’ll respond. They’ll walk through the building and be confident and ready to go. We just all feel for Terry. Again, I can’t understate it, what he’s done for us. He’s a remarkable young man and you know that position takes some thick skin. You’ve got to be able to be very confident and be tough-minded and he’s been that. And he’s worked really hard. Hasn’t been perfect but he’s led us to a lot of winning in the past 15 games he’s been here, so we’re definitely going to miss him but you have to bounce back. You have to be resilient and we have to move on and I’m confident our team will do that.”
How is Terry holding up? Stoops visited him after the game.
“He was disappointed like you would expect,” Stoops said. “He’s worked very, very hard and he was down but he won’t be defeated. He’ll be back. There’s no doubt in my mind.”