The injury-plagued college football career of Washington State’s Derek Sparks has come to an end as the result of a knee injury the senior running back suffered in the first quarter of last Saturday’s 24-14 loss to Arizona.
Arthroscopic surgery performed on the knee this week revealed a torn anterior cruciate ligament, according to WSU coach Mike Price, and reconstructive surgery on the knee is expected to be scheduled within the next two weeks.
Sparks, a 5-foot-11, 220-pounder, started WSU’s first six games this fall before being sidelined by an ankle sprain that kept him out of the Cougars’ 26-7 loss to Oregon.
He shared time with fellow senior Frank Madu, however, and carried 70 times for 234 yrds and two scores.
Sparks lettered his first two years at WSU, but missed the 1993 season after undergoing reconstructive shoulder surgery. He shared time last fall with Madu and senior Kevin Hicks and rushed for 312 yards and three touchdowns.
He missed a week of practice last spring after being hit by a car in the parking lot in front of Bohler Gym, but returned to start in fall camp.