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Omar Bolden Injury: Will Star Cornerback Recover In Time For Season?

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Saturday, April 2nd was a tough day to be a Sun Devils fan. Omar Bolden, ASU's star cornerback and one of the key components of the Sun Devils' strong defensive unit, seriously injured his knee during practice. Doug Haller reported this morning that the MRI results would come in today, and they have: Omar Bolden has torn his ACL, per a tweet from Craig Grialou of KTAR 620 AM.

It was revealed  that T.J. Simpson, an ASU wide receiver, also tore his ACL during the previous week's practices. What exactly is a torn ACL, and how long does it take to recover?

The ACL connects some very strong bones together: the femur and the tibia. An injury to this ligament is fairly common, especially in sports that have a lot of stop-and-go movement (such as football, basketball and soccer). Depending on the recovery route taken by Bolden and Simpson, they could lose the entire 2011 season.

One option for repairing a torn ACL is to do a patellar tendon graft, taking a slice of that tendon and repurposing it as a replacement ACL. This procedure seems to be similar in nature to Tommy John surgery.

ASU has had some recent success with an ACL tear: Jon Hargis tore his ACL during spring practice last year, and recovered in very short order to play in the final four games of the 2010 season. Regardless, Bolden and Simpson will have to have an immaculate recovery during the summer and fall to be able to play for the Sun Devils in 2011.

This is a huge blow for the program, and a terrible thing to have happened to Omar Bolden, who decided against going into the NFL Draft to play at ASU in 2011. Hopefully the recovery is short for both players.

Special thanks to Conquest Chronicles, SB Nation's USC blog, that has an excellent "Injury Clinic" that is a one-stop shop for all sports-related afflictions.