Despite the season-ending ACL tear he suffered last Saturday in the Utah Utes’ win over the Arizona State Sun Devils, tight end Brant Kuithe made his weekly appearance on the “Bill Riley Show” in Salt Lake City by phone on Tuesday, and naturally the injury was the topic of conversation.
“I’m doing all right,” Kuithe said at the top, noting that swelling in his knee has to go down before the surgery to repair it can take place.
Despite suffering a leg injury in high school, Kuithe said this is the first time he will have to undergo surgery.
“It’s all new to me, but trying to embrace it as much as I can and trying to stay positive,” he said. “It’s really the only thing I can do at this moment.”
Kuithe said that on the play in which he got injured (the last of the first quarter), he made the catch and in an attempt to make the ASU defender miss, he tried to spin.
As soon as he started to make a cut, he heard a pop.
In a lighthearted moment, he said, “I still made him miss, which I guess I could say that I made someone miss with a torn ACL.”
Nevertheless, he knew something had happened and he tried to get to the sideline as soon as he could.
Kuithe said that in a sense, the fact that he can’t do anything to change what happened is helping him have a positive outlook about the recovery road ahead.
“I kind of have a new perspective on football right now and trying to figure out what I need to do and how I can help this team without being on the field,” he said. “Everything’s all new and trying to take it one step at a time.”
He also said he realized quickly that as unfortunate as it is, “I’m alive, you know? Like, I can’t sit there and try to think that this is the end of the world, ’cause it’s not.
“Yeah, I’m missing a season, whatever. I’m not sure what’s going to happen down the road (in terms of staying in school or trying to go to the NFL), but at least I’m still alive and I’m breathin’ and I still have an opportunity to go play again. It’s just another bump in the road, some adversity I have to go through.”
Kuithe said he’s somewhat nervous about the concept of going in for surgery, but he’s confident in doctors, rehab specialists and himself to get back in playing shape, and perhaps even better than he was before Saturday.
As much as Kuithe doesn’t want to be out, he’s looking forward to seeing the opportunity Thomas Yassmin will get in replacing him, along with other pass-catchers.
“He deserves the opportunity that’s in front of him,” Kuithe said of Yassmin. “I know that he has to embrace his role that he’s going to be playing a lot more now. The plays are going to come to him. He’s just got to continue to make them and I’m excited for him.”
Kuithe said he hasn’t considered what the future may hold in terms of returning to Utah next season or making a run at the NFL.
“Right now I’m not thinking about anything like that ’cause it’s too far in the future,” he said. “I’m just worried about getting this swelling down, getting this surgery done and getting my knee better.
“After that, I think the rest will take care of itself as far as the decision goes. ... I’m not in any hurry to make that decision or think about it.”