Kenyan Drake Has Surgery on Fractured Arm
Alabama running back Kenyan Drake had successful surgery on his fractured arm, coach Nick Saban said Monday.
Saban said Drake’s surgery “went good,” but reiterated like he did after last Saturday’s game against Mississippi State when the injury occurred that he will “probably be (out) a couple weeks.”
“Then it'll be how functional can he be at his position with what he has,” Saban said, regarding his return.
Drake, a senior, underwent surgery on the arm Sunday at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham. On Monday, he said on his Instagram account that he was feeling “so much better already.”
Drake sustained the injury while making a tackle during a second-quarter kickoff in the Crimson Tide’s 31-6 win over the Bulldogs in Starkville, Mississippi. He immediately reached for the injured right arm in pain after colliding with kick returner Brandon Holloway.
Last season, Drake’s season ended in early October after breaking his leg at Ole Miss.
This season, Drake has carried the ball 68 times for 333 yards, while catching 21 passes for 234 yards. He’s scored two total touchdowns.
In his absence, true freshmen Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough are expected to fill the void behind starter Derrick Henry. Both have seen limited time this season. (Ronnie Clark, a redshirt freshman who was originally a defensive back last season, is the only other healthy scholarship running back available.)
“Both guys are going to have to play a role, there’s no question about that,” Saban said. “But again, they're young guys so are they going to step up to the challenge and compete and show the maturity you need to get ready to play a game and play it well and do it on a consistent basis, that's the challenge for all young guys.”
“… But sustaining the standard, nobody's entitled to anything. You've got to earn it. And I think those guys are very capable and we certainly need them to come through for us right now after losing Kenyan. I think they're both very capable of doing that.
Other injury news:
Freshman defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick is “day-to-day” with a sprained knee, but it doesn’t sound too likely that he will play this Saturday against Charleston Southern.
“It'll probably be a stretch to think he's going to be able to practice enough this week to be able to play in this game,” Saban said.
Fitzpatrick, who has scored all three times he’s had the ball in his hands this season (one blocked punt, two interception returns), also left during the second quarter against the Bulldogs and did not return.
Both Tony Brown and Maurice Smith replaced Fitzpatrick at Star after he went down with the injury. Saban said both players will compete at the position in practice this week to determine who starts against the Buccaneers, an FCS team.
“I think both guys did a good job when they went in there,” Saban said.
Freshman safety Ronnie Harrison missed the entire week of practice after he sprained his knee against Tennessee on Oct. 24 but didn't miss any game time because Alabama was on its bye. He returned a week later against LSU.