June 18, 2009 in Sports

Freak injury ends Van Orsow’s year for Shock

By The Spokesman-Review
 

COMING UP

Saturday: Tri-Cities vs. Spokane at the Arena, 7 p.m.

TV: SWX Radio: 105.7-FM

Spokane Shock defensive lineman Jeff Van Orsow is roughly 99 percent healthy, but his arenafootball2 season is probably over.

Van Orsow tore a tendon in the ring finger on his right hand during Spokane’s 88-27 win over Stockton on Friday. The injury will require surgery next week, then 4-6 weeks with his finger immobilized followed by additional rehabilitation.

“I had the guy inside and was turning the corner and I had my right hand in his jersey,” Van Orsow said. “It’s called ‘Jersey Finger,’ oddly enough that’s how it happens.

“I knew something was wrong. It was like a tingling sensation, but it was more awkward than being hurt. I taped it up and finished the game and I didn’t really think it was a big deal. It’s something so small. The rest of my body is able to play ball, but if you don’t fix it, it won’t work right.”

For numerous reasons, the surgery is important for Van Orsow, who hopes to become a pilot.

“I’m just about ready to take my commercial pilot’s license test,” said Van Orsow, whose dad flew B-52s in the Air Force for 22 years. “I have about 15 hours left. That was my after football (plan), but I kind of put it on hold with the arena league to see where I could take it.”

Van Orsow, a mainstay on the line, has 12.5 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries, including one for a touchdown.

“He’s a very steady player and we’re going to miss him,” Shock coach Adam Shackleford said.

Spokane is expected to add a player later this week to replace Van Orsow.

Foliaki, Williams updates

Linebacker Lee Foliaki remains in Texas for a family emergency and it appears his return isn’t imminent. Foliaki returned to Texas earlier this month during Spokane’s bye week. He didn’t play against Stockton.

“I don’t know if we’ll get him back or not,” Shackleford said. “It’s a family situation he feels he needs to take care of and we’ll support that.”

Justin Warren moved from defensive end to replace Foliaki at ‘Mac’ linebacker and was “outstanding” against Stockton, Shackleford said.

Shackleford is optimistic that defensive back Aaron Williams, who had surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his knee, will return in 3-4 weeks.

What may play in Vegas

Af2 is considering the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas as the site of the ArenaCup in August. It would be a neutral site because Las Vegas has an Arena Football League franchise, but the AFL canceled its 2009 season. The West Coast Conference played its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments at the Orleans last season and the facility drew rave reviews.

Af2 owners are expected to vote on the Orleans proposal today.

Spokane hosted the ArenaCup last year, as well as the first three rounds of the playoffs.

Though the af2 Official Record and Fact Book states there will be a 16-team playoff field, the league is considering trimming that number to 12. A decision could come today.

Notes

Spokane (10-0) held the top spot in the af2 poll for a record-equaling 14th straight week. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was No. 1 for 14 weeks in 2007. … Stanley Franks, who tied a franchise record with three interceptions, won the league’s defensive players of the week award. … Receiver Charles Dillon (ankle) will sit out Saturday’s home game against Tri-Cities. Receiver Andy Olson said he was a little dizzy after absorbing a big hit during Friday’s game. He practiced Wednesday and is expected to play Saturday.

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