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Seven Football Tigers Have Surgery

Jan. 8, 2001

Clemson, SC–Five Clemson football players, including starting quarterback Woodrow Dantzler, had surgery on Monday. It brought to seven the number of Tiger gridders who have had surgery since last Friday. Clemson Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Larry Bowman performed the medical procedures at Oconee Memorial Hospital in Seneca.

Six of the seven players who have had surgery since Friday are eligible to return for the 2001 season. Some of the players may miss part or all of spring practice, but all six are expected to be able to return next season.

Dantzler, a 2001 Heisman Trophy candidate, had surgery to repair subluxating tendons outside his left ankle. The Tiger quarterback who set 16 school records this year originally suffered the injury in the eighth game of the year, at North Carolina.

“Woodrow had problems with the tendon slipping and we performed surgery to correct the problem,” said Bowman. “There were no surprises. He will be inactive for four weeks, then we will start rehabilitation. I doubt he will be ready for the beginning of spring practice, but I wouldn’t rule him out for the entire spring.”

On Friday, Bowman surgically placed a plate and screws into Zachery’s broken foot, a surgery that will help him heal from a broken metarsal bone suffered on his touchdown reception against Virginia Tech in the Toyota Gator Bowl. It was the second straight year Zachery has been injured in the bowl game after going through the entire regular season without a medical problem. Zachery is questionable for spring practice. He scored 18 touchdowns this year to set a Clemson single season record, and rushed for 1027 yards, second to Dantzler’s 1028.

In addition to Zachery, Bowman performed surgery on Marcus Lewis to repair a torn ACL, an injury he suffered on December 16 in practice preparing for the Gator Bowl. Lewis, a reserve defensive end in 2000, will miss spring practice, but should be back in the fall.

In addition to Dantzler, Bowman performed surgeries on linebacker J.J. Howard (arthroscopic shoulder surgery), T.J. Watkins (arthrscopic should surgery), Nick Black (arthroscopic surgery on both knees) and Jason Holloman (arthscropic ankle surgery).

All but Holloman, a red-shirt senior tackle in 2000, will return for the 2001 season. Watkins started 11 of the 12 games at offensive tackle last year. Howard played on special teams, while Black was a reserve offensive guard. Black, Watkins and Howard should all return for the beginning of spring practice.

In December, Bowman performed surgery on starting defensive end Nick Eason. The Tigers leader in quarterback sacks suffered a torn achilles tendon in practice on December 16 and missed the Gator Bowl. He will miss spring practice, but should be ready for practice on August.