PULLMAN – Junior running back James Montgomery underwent emergency surgery Sunday on his left calf and will be lost for the season.
Montgomery, a transfer from California who redshirted last season, started suffering pain and swelling overnight following the Cougars’ 30-27 win over Southern Methodist.
“He got a bruise in that lower calf region,” Washington State football coach Paul Wulff said Tuesday. “Over the middle of the night pressure built, pain ensued and he went into the emergency (room).”
It was determined he was suffering from acute compartment syndrome.
According to the American Academy of Orthorpaedic Surgeons’ Web site, acute compartment syndrome can be caused by a strong blow to the muscle.
Swelling or bleeding within the muscle compartment puts pressure on capillaries and nerves.
If left untreated and the pressure isn’t relieved quickly, nerves and muscles can die and permanent disability or even death can occur, according to the Web site. The severity of Montgomery’s injury forced removal of some muscle tissue, putting his football future in jeopardy.
Montgomery, who suffered a right knee injury in fall practice that caused him to miss three weeks, rushed for 10 yards Saturday on six carries, giving him a team-high 167 yards this season.
He came off the bench for 118 yards vs. Hawaii, the Cougars’ first 100-yard game since the 2007 season.
He told the trainers and coaches Sunday he had no recollection of any hit during the SMU game that may have caused the injury.
Without Montgomery, WSU will rely on senior Dwight Tardy, who has led the Cougars in rushing for three consecutive years, sophomore Logwone Mitz and junior Marcus Richmond.
The trio has rushed for 132 yards combined the season.
“It’s a bad deal,” Tardy said of Montgomery’s injury. “He’s a great leader and a great guy to be around.
“I’ve seen him about three, four times. I went over, set his X-box up, made sure he had games, and played a couple rounds of baseball with him. Losing a guy like that, it hurts us bad.”