In­jury, not draft prep, kept Stan­ford’s Love out of bowl

The Tribune (SLO) - - Classified - BY JON BECKER

It turns out Bryce Love’s de­ci­sion to skip Stan­ford’s bowl game was re­ally not a choice for the Car­di­nal’s star run­ning back. He re­vealed Fri­day he missed the Sun Bowl be­cause he suf­fered a torn ACL in his right knee against Cal.

In an in­ter­view with Ya­hoo Sports, Love said he’s still in the early stages of re­cov­er­ing from his in­jury, which has dropped his NFL draft stock. While he’ll at­tend the NFL com­bine next month, he’s still not sure when he’ll be cleared for foot­ball ac­tiv­i­ties af­ter his Dec. 18 surgery with Dr. James An­drews.

“I’m very grate­ful to Dr. An­drews and his team for mak­ing the surgery a seam­less process,” Love told Ya­hoo Sports. “Ob­vi­ously, there’s no such thing as an ideal in­jury, but I’m on the path to re­cov­ery, and my goal remains the same – get­ting drafted by an NFL team and be­ing the ulti- mate pro­fes­sional. I’ll be back bet­ter than I’ve ever been.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ya­hoo, Love is work­ing out at An­drews’ train­ing fa­cil­ity in Florida, and is ex­pected to make a full re­cov­ery. How­ever, it remains to be seen how NFL teams will eval­u­ate him come draft time in April.

Love, who was the Heis­man Tro­phy run­ner-up a year ago, raised some eye­brows when he an­nounced af­ter the reg­u­lar sea­son he would be sit­ting out Stan­ford’s bowl game to “fo­cus on be­ing com­pletely healthy and pre­pared for the 2019 NFL draft.”

It was as­sumed Love was mak­ing the same busi­ness de­ci­sion exCar­di­nal star Chris­tian McCaf­frey made in 2016 when he de­cided to skip the Sun Bowl to pre­pare for the draft. There was no in­di­ca­tion he was ac­tu­ally hurt un­til Ya­hoo Sports’ re­port came out Fri­day.

MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ AP

Stan­ford run­ning back Bryce Love re­vealed he suf­fered a torn ACL against Cal, an in­jury that kept him from play­ing in the Car­di­nal’s bowl game and has low­ered his NFL draft stock.

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