September 6, 2001

Rigueur Expected for Yale Game

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After partially tearing his posterior cruciate ligament during Saturday’s scrimmage against Ithaca College, the football team’s fifth-year senior defensive back, Phil Rigueur, underwent surgery on Sunday and is expected to return against Yale in two weekends.

“Right now it’s a little sore, but I’m expected to come back for the Yale game,” he said. “Everyday I rehab it and try to make it stronger. Hopefully, I can make a quick recovery.”

As far as knee injuries go, Rigueur is in many ways lucky to have torn just his PCL. It sure didn’t feel like that when it happened.

“If you’re going to tear a ligament in that cruciate, [the PCL] is the best one to tear,” explained head coach Tim Pendergast.

While Rigueur’s PCL will force him out of action for two to three weeks, had his injury been instead a torn ACL, he would have been likely out of commission for the rest of the season.

“I just had surgery on Sunday and I’m out here walking right now,” Rigueur said. “That was probably the best knee injury that I could have but It sure didn’t feel like that when it happened.”

It was on a routine play against IC that Rigueur brought about the injury. While attempting a tackle, Rigueur was involved in a collision with a Bombers’ offensive lineman who fell on the outside of his knee.

“My knee just collapsed from there,” Rigueur said, unrepentant for his physical nature. “I’ve come to realize it’s part of the game. Being physical, you have to take some physical pain with that.”

The temporary loss of Rigueur is of a physical and emotional nature to the team.

“We’re definitely going to miss him. He’s a leader on and off the field,” said defensive lineman Brian Sacco.

“It’s a great loss, Pendergast said, chipping in about Rigueur’s character, “He chose to come back here and play football for another year. That in of it self speaks volumes.

“He put the team first by returning this year.”

However, Rigueur is less skeptical of the void his absence will leave in the defense for the next couple of weeks.

“The way the defense was designed was to have 11 swarming guys on the field,” he explained. “Regardless of whether I’m there or not, there’s still going be 11 swarming guys on the field.

“All I ask of the defense and team is to be 1-0 when I come back on the 22nd for Yale.”

Taking Rigueur’s place in the defensive backfield, according to Pendergast, will probably be freshman Brad Kitlowksi.

“Brad has really done a great job for a guy who has only been with us, give or take, for the better part of 20 practices,” Pendergast extolled. “He’s caught onto the system, he plays aggressive and he’s really deceptively fast.”

Also hobbling around practice the last few days during practice has been senior running back Evan Simmons, though his injury — a sprained ankle — should be less taxing on the team than Rigueur’s.

“It’s just a little wear and tear,” senior quarterback Ricky Rahne said. “Evan’ll be fine. He’ll be ready to go. He’s just making sure everything is OK.”

“We expect that we’ll have him for the Bucknell game,” Pendergast added. “He’s really day-to-day.”

Rigueur on the other hand will have to wait a bit longer to return to the field. If and when Rigueur does come back against Yale, however, he has no plans on putting the brakes on his usual physical play.

“No,” he said with a snicker. “I’m not cutting back on anything.”

Added Pendergast, “I think Phil will still be Phil.”

Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj