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April 17, 2012

Teammate: Hall's injury 'broke my heart'

Arizona linebacker Jake Fischer saw teammate Adam Hall walking around in an upset mood after last Saturday's spring game at Kino Stadium.

Did he miss a tackle? Blow the coverage on a play? Fischer was unsure.

Video footage from local news outlets captured a sequence where the safety slipped while pursuing a play and then hobbled off to the sideline.

Hours later, Hall announced on Twitter that he tore the ACL in his right knee for a second consecutive spring.

"Once the game was done, I thought we got through injury-free," said Fischer, who experienced the same bad fortune with an ACL tear last season along with Hall, defensive tackle Willie Mobley and running back Greg Nwoko.

In fall camp, cornerback Jonathan McKnight was sidelined for the season with a similar injury.

Five ACL tears, one team, one rough 4-8 season.

"Just being one of the guys that went through it with him, I didn't really know until after the spring game because he was walking around on it," Fischer said. "I thought he was just mad; I didn't know if he missed a tackle or something. I had no idea.

"Like I told him, it really broke my heart. He's in high spirits right now, though, so he'll be back a lot sooner than people think."

Head coach Rich Rodriguez did not have a timeframe in mind for Hall's return.

Last season, Hall was the lone player to return to the field after tearing his ACL. He played just one game, however, recording 10 tackles and a forced fumble in a mid-October contest at Oregon State before being shut down for the remainder of the season.

The injury typically takes between six to nine months to heal.

"The doctors are looking at all that and determine what his availability will be for the fall," Rodriguez said.

Fischer added that he does not want Hall to "push it" since it's his second serious injury to the same knee.

"I feel like he's gonna be very smart about it," Fischer continued. "He's gonna take his time, he's gonna build up the strength that he needs."

A starter since his sophomore season in Tucson, Hall has practiced and played with the unofficial second unit this spring while learning the 3-3-5 odd stack defensive system. At 6-4 and 213 pounds, Hall is one of the bigger, more physical safeties on the team.

"Any time you lose a player, and any time you lose a good player, it's a blow to your football team," Rodriguez said. "But Adam, he had worked really hard in the offseason and had a good spring. It's unfortunate, but that happens in football."

Sophomore walk-on safety Jared Tevis, one of the surprises this spring, has played with the first unit and could see a bigger role than anticipated with Hall now out indefinitely for an extended period of time.

Tracy McDannaldTracy McDannald
GOAZCATS.com Senior Editor

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