|Aggies' Roland could be home for Christmas|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 23 December 2009 18:46|
M decided midafternoon Wednesday was the time to get back up.
He grabbed a walker, left Room 627 at Harborview Medical Center for the first time on his own two feet and shuffled to a large window just outside his door.
The same defensive stopper and second-leading scorer who the night before was running free and soaring to the rim shuffled back. Nausea and dizziness consumed him. His hospital bed rescued him.
``Worst walk I ever took,'' a sedated Roland said through a groggy chuckle a few minutes later.
eading scorer Donald Sloan - who's known Roland since eighth grade in Dallas and considers him a brother - were at his side. The rest of their traumatized team flew home Wednesday morning.
The beloved leader the Aggies call ``D-Ro'' was in what the hospital termed satisfactory condition about 12 hours after surgery to repair a broken tibia and fibula suffered in a grotesque injury during Tuesday night's 73-64 loss at No. 22 Washington.
The sound of two bones snapping in his right leg echoed throughout a horrified arena - ``we will never forget that sound,'' Turgeon said. The sight of bone diverting outside almost 90 degrees below the knee left several teammates in tears well into Wednesday.
Roland's college career is almost certainly over. But Dr. Chris Wahl sees no reason why Roland can't resume playing after rehabilitation that will last well into the new year. Wahl is the orthopedic specialist and University of Washington team physician who rushed onto the court from the stands along with three other doctors to stabilize Roland.
After performing the 75-minute surgery past midnight and into Wednesday morning, Wahl said he will check Roland again Thursday morning.
``He's a tough kid. He's doing great,'' the surgeon at one of the country's renowned trauma hospitals said in an evening phone interview from his home. ``He's tired, but that's understandable. He's been through a lot.''
M doctors by Christmas. A return to his native Dallas could come a day or two after that, Turgeon said.
M has chartered a medical transport plane to take Roland home. The Aggies also flew Roland's aunt, Betty Cofield, to Seattle late Wednesday.
Wahl said Roland could be putting weight on the leg again in a couple of weeks, and that in perhaps six weeks ``they'll have trouble keeping a guy like that off his leg.''
``When he's lying in there, that's hard to believe,'' said Turgeon, operating on only a couple hours of fitful sleep.
Thousands from around the nation have sent their well wishes since the injury. Harborview was inundated with over 600 get-well e-mails for Roland since Tuesday night.
``Physically, I'm sore. And emotionally, I'm kind of hurt for the rest of the season and my teammates,'' said Roland, who a couple seasons ago played for weeks through a torn labrum in his shoulder.
``It's just a tough situation, but everything happens for a reason. I've bounced back from injuries before. I'll just have to do the same with this one.''
ainted from the gory scene.
``I could look up and see a couple of the guys on the bench with hands over the mouths, so I knew it was pretty bad from looking at their faces,'' Roland said.
After a 10-minute delay, Washington immediately went on a decisive, 15-4 run that turned a one-point game into a Huskies' win.
Sloan's mother died two years ago, during the NCAA tournament. He said he was still able to play with passion then.
``(Tuesday) night, I felt I shouldn't even have been playing,'' Sloan said.
Turgeon has one regret from what he called the most traumatic moment he's ever had in a game.
``If had to do it over again, I would have pulled our guys off the count and said, 'This is Washington's game.' We all would have gone with Derrick to the hospital,'' Turgeon said.
``The game didn't matter at that point. It just didn't matter.''