Leading Tulane rusher out for season with knee injury

NEW ORLEANS -- Tulane running back Matt Forte will miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury, coach Chris Scelfo said.

Forte, a junior from Slidell, missed last week's Conference USA game against Southern Mississippi after injuring his knee in the Green Wave's 42-21 loss at Marshall. Team officials said the season-ending injury is a torn posterior cruciate ligament of the left knee. Forte has gotten a second opinion and was scheduled to travel to Birmingham, Ala., on Monday to get a third from sports orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

"We were holding out hope that he would be able to come back," Scelfo said Tuesday.

Forte rushed for 859 yards while starting nine games and is the fourth-leading rusher in the conference with a 95.4-yard average. He was also on track to become the third Green Wave player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

"I was having a good year, and for it to get cut short like this is very disappointing," Forte said. "But this is a life lesson. That's why you have to play every play like it's your last one."

The season-ending injury to Forte marks the second time in four seasons Tulane has lot a running back that was nearing the 1,000-yard rushing mark and the third time in four years the team has lost one of its most productive players.

In 2003, running back Mewelde Moore, the school's career-leading rusher, missed the final three games due to a broken hand. In 2004, quarterback Lester Ricard's wrist was broken with two games remaining.