Olson to have surgery on broken foot, miss at least two months
LOS ANGELES -- UCLA quarterback Ben Olson will have surgery on his broken right foot, an injury that's expected to keep him out for at least two months.
The decision was announced Monday -- a day after the left-handed senior learned he had fractured the fifth metatarsal in his foot for the second time in four months. The surgery will be performed Tuesday, when Olson will have a screw placed in his foot to assist in the healing.
Olson is expected to miss at least five games. Kevin Craft, a transfer from Mt. San Antonio College, and redshirt freshman Chris Forcier are expected to compete for the Bruins' starting quarterback job.
UCLA opens its season at home against Tennessee on Sept. 1. First-year coach Rick Neuheisel said the Bruins will need to have a starter in place at least a week before facing the Volunteers.
Olson was injured when he faked a handoff Saturday before taking a misstep. It was just the latest in a long time of injuries.
"I knew something was wrong," he said in a teleconference call. "I was hoping I only tweaked it a little bit. It's definitely been tough. You're not able to accomplish the goals you set. It's very frustrating because it seems every year that my progression as a quarterback has been halted by injury. But whining and complaining about things and asking 'Why did this happen to me?' does no good. You have to push forward."
Olson said he expects to return to action this season.
"It's a crushing blow to the young man," Neuheisel said. "He put so much time and effort into the program, it's just unfortunate. Sometimes you have a hard time understanding why things happen."
Patrick Cowan, who took over when Olson was sidelined by injury last season and was expected to be the No. 1 quarterback, had surgery after injuring his knee in spring practice and will miss the season.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press