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Choice already off crutches

POSTED: October 28, 2007 5:07 a.m.
ATLANTA — Tashard Choice was already off crutches Wednesday and said he was "ecstatic" only one day after he had knee surgery.

"I walked into surgery with crutches and walked out without them," Choice said. "That can tell you pretty much how the surgery went. My knee feels really well.

"It went well and I’m glad there’s a chance I can come back pretty soon."

That doesn’t mean the Georgia Tech senior running back is ready for football.

"We’re going to be very realistic, not only about short-term but long-term for him," Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey said Wednesday.

Choice is the Atlantic Coast Conference’s leading rusher with his average of 108 yards per game despite being limited in two games by a hamstring injury and leaving Saturday’s game against Army in the first quarter following the injury to his right knee.

Georgia Tech is off this week.

Gailey already has ruled Choice out for a Nov. 1 game against Virginia Tech. Choice said it’s too early to know if he’ll miss only one game.

"I don’t know. I really can’t put a timetable on it," Choice said. "I just really go by how I feel from day to day. That’s one thing I do know. I know it’s hopefully going to be sooner than later. I can’t put a date on it, but I know I’ll be back."

Tuesday’s arthroscopic surgery revealed no serious damage to the cartilage in Choice’s right knee. Choice had the knee wrapped on Wednesday but wouldn’t provide more details about the surgery.

"It’s not something really serious," he said. "They won’t let me say right now."

Choice was walking with only a slight limp and driving around campus.

"He’s amazing," Gailey said, adding he’s not worried Choice is off crutches too soon.

"Mentally, it’s good for him," Gailey said.

Choice said he left his helmet on while being evaluated by trainers on the field following the injury because he didn’t want fans or his teammates to see him so emotional.

Choice had to be helped from the field and carted to the locker room.

"I was really upset. I was more mad than anything," Choice said. "I’ve been battling injuries all year. I like to be out there at practice. I like to be out there with my teammates. This is my last year. This is about to be all over with. I didn’t want nobody to see me mad or upset. I didn’t want my teammates to see me. I didn’t want them to see how mad I was."

Gailey said he planned to use three tailbacks against Virginia Tech: Rashaun Grant, Jonathan Dwyer and Jamaal Evans.



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