Aggies' Roland undergoes leg surgery
Texas A&M senior guard Derrick Roland had surgery early Wednesday morning to repair the broken tibia and fibula in his right leg after suffering the injuries in Tuesday night's game at Washington, according to Aggies coach Mark Turgeon.
Roland underwent surgery at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle to have a rod placed in the leg, Turgeon said early Wednesday.
"It went well and he is doing well," Turgeon said in a text message, adding later that Roland was finally resting. "Tough kid."
Turgeon, who was at the hospital after the Aggies' 73-64 loss to Washington, said Roland likely will remain in Seattle through Christmas. Roland's aunt was flying to Seattle from their hometown of Dallas, the coach said.
Fellow senior Donald Sloan, Turgeon and athletic assistant Dustin Clark are staying until Roland's aunt arrives. The rest of the team was flying back to Texas Wednesday.
"It's tough to leave a player," Turgeon said. "We're trying to get his family here as quickly as possible, but it's not easy with Christmas and flights being sold out."
Turgeon said there also are efforts being made to have a medical flight take Roland back to Dallas once he's allowed to leave the hospital. Roland, whose career is likely over, is facing a lengthy rehab. The freakish injury -- it could be compared to the one former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theisman suffered against the New York Giants that ended his career -- had the Aggies in shock.
Sloan, a good friend of Roland's who also was a teammate at Dallas Seagoville High, was visibly upset when he saw Roland's injury.
"Derrick was the heart and soul of this team," Turgeon said. "Everyone is devastated. Our guys had their eyes swollen in the last five minutes of the game. They were crying during the game. They never came out of it."
Roland got hurt early in the second half, with Texas A&M (9-3, unranked in ESPN/USA Today, No. 19 AP) leading 32-30. The Aggies gathered at their bench for a tearful prayer during a 10-minute delay to get him onto a stretcher and into an ambulance.
After the game resumed, Washington (No. 19, No. 22) went on a decisive 15-4 run.
Roland was the second-leading scorer at 11.1 points a game, behind Sloan's 17.4 average.
"Derrick is the guy the players all rally around," Turgeon said. "We're going to have to take some time off, regroup. But now it's about just thinking about Derrick."
Turgeon ran on the court as soon as he saw Roland come down from jumping up toward the basket, then crumple. Four University of Washington doctors and trainers rushed to Roland, who remained on his back, arms over his eyes.
"I saw it right away and I was just trying to get a doctor," Turgeon said. "The doctors at Washington did a great job. We're lucky they were here."
Roland was alert in the ambulance, and was accompanied to the hospital by Barry Davis, the Aggies' director of student and athlete development.
The Aggies remain one of the top four teams in the Big 12, but losing Roland, the team's top defender, will be a challenge going forward. More than that was Roland's presence in the locker room and on the court as one of the team leaders, along with Sloan.Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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