- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 9, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA. (AP) - Joe Paterno was scheduled to be released from the hospital Tuesday after he was injured in a collision with a Penn State player at practice, and his son expects the 84-year-old coach to be back to work soon.

Paterno was hospitalized Sunday evening after getting blindsided by receiver Devon Smith at practice earlier that day. Doctors were evaluating his right shoulder and pelvis.

A spokeswoman at Mount Nittany Medical Center said Paterno was in good condition.

Quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno said his father might be back at practice as soon as Tuesday.

“If not this afternoon, then tomorrow,” Jay Paterno said in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “I wish I was as tough as he is.”

Jay Paterno also said the latest health issue for JoePa won’t push his father into retirement.

“This is nothing more than a small blip on the radar,” Jay Paterno said.

Paterno is major college football’s career leader with 401 victories in 46 seasons as Penn State coach. His contract expires after the season, though he hasn’t offered any clues as to when he might finally step down.

He also doesn’t necessarily need something in writing to stay on the job. He said at Big Ten media day in Chicago last week he could coach another four or five years _ a standard response he’s given about the past couple decades.

His meticulous planning of the practice schedule means the assistants can run preseason drills without interruption, Jay Paterno said. The team was back at practice Monday, after JoePa held a teleconference with his assistants from the hospital.

But Paterno’s health has become more of an issue in recent years, heightening the seemingly annual speculation of how long he would stick around. He broke his leg in a sideline collision during Penn State’s game at Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium in 2006.

Two years later, a hip injury forced him to spend much of the season coaching from the press box. He ran practices from a golf cart before having hip surgery after the season.

Jay Paterno said on Tuesday that his father’s hip was fine.

During the 2010 offseason, Paterno had to scale back his personal appearances because of an intestinal issue and an adverse reaction to antibiotics prescribed for dental work. He also cut back on in-season obligations and taped segments instead of appearing live on a weekly radio show.

Until this week’s setback, Paterno’s health had seemingly improved over the last year, to the point where he had been regularly walking around town again. He promised to take more control calling plays this year, after the offense struggled in 2010.

“Nothing has changed at all,” Jay Paterno said. “Nothing is wrong with him, except being a little dinged up.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide