Anytime you hear the acronym "ACL" with the word "torn" in front of it, you automatically assume the worst. That's because a torn ACL usually is the worst. As if we needed a reminder of that, look at Purdue's Robbie Hummel, whose torn ACL will keep him on the sidelines for the rest of Purdue's run at the Final Four and, presumably, for many months after that.
Apparently, though, ACLs aren't always rehab-worthy. Take Missouri's Justin Safford, who likewise tore his ACL this week. Safford's injury not only isn't as serious as Hummel's, there's a chance he could play again this very year:
Missouri starting forward Justin Safford has a torn ACL in his left knee and will definitely miss the Tigers' Saturday night game at No. 6 Kansas State. However, the injury is not necessarily one of a season-ending nature.
"We'll reevaluate it in the next week and then we'll make a determination of what's going to take place," Missouri coach Mike Anderson said during a Thursday morning interview on WHB radio. "We know eventually he's going to have to have surgery."
I suppose this makes sense; you'll occasionally hear stories of people tearing their ACLs and not knowing it for a few weeks, playing through what feels like a minor pain until they go to the doctor and realize they have something seriously wrong with their knee. (Or maybe that's just my buddy. Normal people probably don't do stuff like that, huh.) But hey, if Safford can pull it off, giving his team postseason minutes without risking further damage to his knee -- and that's the important part, obviously -- then why not?