Alston Still Fighting Through Injured Thigh - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Alston Still Fighting Through Injured Thigh


West Virginia University Running Back Shawne Alston emerged from the training room and met with the media Tuesday night for the first time since he injured his right thigh in September.

Many wondered how a deep thigh bruise could sideline a player for nearly six weeks.

"It was a deep tissue bruise that was down by the bone," Alston said. "My body couldn't absorb all the blood so I had to get a couple of procedures done and try to help it out. Some calcification started to form and there were some obstacles that kept coming up and it was a hassle trying to get my motion and strength back in my leg."

All of that going on under the skin helped explain Alston's absence for more than a month. He tried to describe the pain.

"It was just like a buildup of pressure in your leg and you can't bend it back at all or kick it up at all," Alston stated. "It is just there. There is a big bruise there and it is just bad."

The pain prevented Alston from truly beginning to rehab it the way he wanted. Between the calcification near the bone and the repeated procedures to drain blood from his thigh, Alston struggled to even get back on the practice field.

"My mobility was not what it needed to be," Alston shrugged. "I had pain walking around and couldn't get up stairs. I had to turn sideways and use the railing to help me up. I know people think of a bruise and they think it is nothing. I have played with contusions before. Every running back gets those. This was something way worse than what everybody thinks it was."

Alston played through the initial injury, which occurred in the James Madison game. He tried to play early in the Maryland game but could not make it through the first quarter.

"It happened in the first quarter of the JMU game," Alston said. "It was still scoreless when it happened. I took a shot there and it got worse and worse as the game went on and I wasn't able to move my leg. When we got back here I tried to get some treatment on it and get it back right."

As the length of Alston's absence continued to grow, speculation began regarding a potential injury redshirt. Alston said that was never a thought in his mind.

"Some people like to redshirt," Alston said. "I have enjoyed my time here. I already have my degree. If they would have came to me about it, then maybe it is something we could have talked about. But, everybody just agreed that if I kept working hard I would be able to come back and help the team this year in its current state. It never crossed anybody's mind."

Alston returned and saw game action last weekend against TCU for the first time since the first quarter of the Maryland game in September. While he played, he was not nearly as effective as he was before the injury.

"I'm probably about 65 to 70 percent of what I was the Marshall week," Alston stated. "I don't feel like I felt when I came into the Marshall game, but everyday it's a work in progress to get it stronger and get it better."

Alston carried the ball 16 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns against Marshall. He has 37 carries for 201 yards and four touchdowns this season. Alston expects his playing time and productivity to increase as his health improves.

"I'm going to get back to 100 percent," Alston stated. "We have a good strength staff and training staff. My treatment regimen is crazy right now. I am always out there. They put a picture of me in there because I was in there so much."

Alston carried the ball seven times for 16 yards and one touchdown in his return against TCU. It was what it needed to be for the senior, an opportunity to get back on the field and contribute.

"It was a good thing to get back out there and put some points on the board," Alston smiled. "We weren't able to get the victory, but maybe it will lead to some other things next game."

The next game is Saturday at Oklahoma State. The WVU backfield has not been at full capacity all season. Dustin Garrison was still working his way back to full health after tearing his ACL right before the Orange Bowl. He did not see the field for the first time this season until the Maryland game.

Now all three backs, Garrison, Alston and Andrew Buie are playing. That should help a running game that has not produced a 100-yard rusher since Buie tallied 207 yards on the ground at Texas.

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