Notre Dame suffered it’s first major injury of the year this week when it was discovered that starting tight end Mike Ragone had a partial tear of his ACL. The sophomore tight end tried to play through the injury with the help of a practice, but decided to shut it down and get it fixed according to a release from Charlie Weis.
This summer, while running routes, Mike tweaked his knee and partially tore his left ACL. His two options were to have the knee fixed immediately or to brace it and try to play. He understood that eventually the knee would have to be fixed and he was hoping to do it at the conclusion of the 2008 season.
Mike had continued to practice, but felt his progress had deteriorated. Thursday afternoon, Mike came to me and decided that having the surgery done now prior to the start of school would be best. Together with Jim Russ and our team doctors, we quickly arranged surgery for late Friday morning. The surgery was successful and Mike will spend the 2008 season rehabbing to be ready for the 2009 season.
This is terrible news for both Notre Dame and Mike Ragone. Ragone was primed for a breakout season and his loss leaves Notre Dame with just one scholarship tight end who has seen any extensive action. Junior fullback/tight end hybrid Luke Schmidt and true freshmen Kyle Rudolp and Joseph Fauria will now need to play a much more prominent role in the TE rotation than originally planned.
For Ragone, this is his second major injury in two years. He missed his entire senior season at Camden Catholic with a knee injury and now has a partial tear of his ACL. ACL’s are very tough to recover from so here’s hoping Mike has a full recovery and is back on the field for the Irish next year.
UPDATE: I just posted an article on the homepage regarding the loss of Ragone and what it means to our depth at tight end this year.