UPDATE (11/18) — During a press conference with reporters Monday afternoon, Alabama football coach Nick Saban was direct about the impact of losing quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Tagovailoa, who had surgery on his hip Monday morning in Houston, was injured during the Mississippi State game Saturday.
“Look, we lost a great leader, a great player on our team and we’re all hurting because of it,” Saban said. “Just like anytime you lose someone in your family for whatever reasons, everyone in the family is hurting and this is all about people and this is all about the person.”
Prior to Saban’s comments, Alabama Athletics released the following statement from Dr. Lyle Cain of Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Clinic regarding Tua Tagovailoa’s hip surgery:
“Tua underwent successful surgery on his right hip Monday morning in Houston. The procedure went as planned, and he is resting comfortably. Tua’s prognosis is excellent, and we expect him to make a full recovery. He will return to Tuscaloosa in the next several days to begin his rehab.”
Saban took the time during the press conference to also highlight Tagovailoa’s contributions to the team and, in his own words, college football.
“This is a guy that has great spirit, he is very positive about just about everything he does and the effect he has on other people,” he said. “I think he’s been a great ambassador for college football in terms of the class he shows and the way he goes about what he does and how he affects other people. I don’t think there is any way that any of us can say we won’t miss that spirit that he has.”
Saban said that enthusiasm was on display as he spoke to Tagovailoa over the weekend, describing how he tried to make the coach laugh during their conversations. In fact, Saban said Tagovailoa told him Sunday that he was looking forward to watching the game Saturday.
However, Saban was reticent to talk about what Tagovailoa’s injury will mean for his future football prospects, only saying that his primary concern is his health and well-being.
“This is going to be a long recovery for him, but we fully expect a full recovery,” he said. “No one is really speculating or talking about what’s best for him to do in his future because my only concern is that he can do what is best for him in his future. I don’t know if right now is the time to be thinking about that when you’re thinking about the guy’s health and well-being and recovery.”
Saban also took the time to talk about how other past Alabama players have had injuries and how that has an impact on the team. C.J. Mosley was one example brought up, when the linebacker dislocated his hip in 2012, yet was able to have a career in the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens and, currently, the New York Jets.
“I don’t love these guys relative to how good of players they are; they’re all a part of our team, they’re all a part of our family,” he said. “I hate to see any of them get hurt. I hate to see any of them make bad choices and decisions that can affect their future or anything that happens to them that can affect their future. Certainly, injuries are a part of the game, but they’re also a part of life. Things don’t always go exactly like you want in your life and you have to be able to play the hand that is dealt you, overcome adversity and at times and you can actually become stronger because of it.”
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will head to Houston Sunday night following his dislocated right hip injury in Saturday’s game.
The updated statement comes from the team’s doctor, Dr. Lyle Cain.
“For the past 24 hours our medical team has consulted with multiple orthopedic experts across the country, who specialize in hip injuries and surgeries. Based on that research, Tua is being flown to Houston tonight to be evaluated and is scheduled to have hip surgery Monday. As previously stated, we anticipate a full recovery. The main focus has been, and will remain, on Tua, his family, and making sure we are providing them the best medical care possible.”
Tagovailoa was carted off before halftime during Alabama’s game against Mississippi State Saturday afternoon. He threw two touchdowns before his season-ending injury.