An MRI on Navy quarterback Brian Hampton's left knee confirmed the structural damage likely will take months to rehabilitate.
That doesn't mean Hampton, a senior from Illinois, is necessarily ready to call it a career.
"I basically want to do one of two things -- get back on the field as fast as I possibly can or get my coach's whistle," Hampton said while he stood with the help of crutches yesterday. "I'm not too sure if I should just say hey, throw in the towel. Go ahead and put on my jumpsuit and whistle, throw on a hat and be a coach for the rest of the year, or keep my physical strength and endurance up to possibly hit a game at the end of the year."
Hampton was diagnosed with a dislocated left knee on Saturday.
Dr. Jeff Fair, assistant athletic director for Sports Medicine at the academy, said the MRI revealed Hampton has a torn anterior cruciate ligament, torn posterior cruciate ligament and a torn lateral collateral ligament. The medial collateral ligament was not damaged.
Fair said Hampton will have reconstructive surgery during the first week of November. Cmdr. Mike Battaglia, the team's orthopedic surgery, is scheduled to perform the surgery at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.
"Any kind of anterior cruciate injury like that you're talking probably eight to nine months [of recovery time]," Dr. Fair said. "With a total dislocation like this, I think it will probably be 10 to 12 months."
Navy's final regular season game is Dec. 2 against Army, and with one more win the Mids (5-2) will play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 30. When Hampton says he wants to play again, he is not talking about starting against the Black Knights.
"I'll cling to taking victory formation and kneeling," Hampton said. "That's still being on the field. I'll hang on to that."
Hampton was at practice with a helmet on and a red jersey like the rest of the team's injured players. He said his parents and brother have stayed in town to help him with bigger tasks like cooking and smaller things like putting on his socks.
After the injury, Hampton went to the Anne Arundel Medical Center for tests. His foot went numb at one point, and the team's medical staff wanted to make sure he did not have blood flow issues.
Dr. Battaglia put Hampton's dislocated knee back into place on the field, but it wasn't easy.
"[Hampton] is in great shape -- that was one of the problems," Dr. Fair said. "He is so strong. His dang gone quads are about that [making a large circle with his arms] big around. His calves are like pumpkins. It was hard when those muscles went into spasm like that."
Though he will miss about a week of class after the surgery and will be forced to navigate the academy on crutches, Hampton said the schoolwork and completing his degree are not going to be a problem. He wants to be a pilot for the Marine Corps after graduation.
"We'll find that out in November," Hampton said. "I don't think this will weigh too much on service selection because I'll be able to repair the knee and most likely get back to my physical peek. It shouldn't have that much weight on it and I have a lot of people on my side supporting me on that."