MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett was scheduled Monday to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder’s AC joint, a less invasive procedure with a shorter recovery time than surgery to mend his partially torn labrum.
Labrum surgery would have sidelined Trickett at least until summer, interrupting his work with receivers in 7-on-7 passing drills.
During the late stages of West Virginia’s 30-21 upset of Oklahoma State on Sept. 28, Trickett suffered a sprain of the AC joint—that’s the acromioclavicular joint, which connects the collar bone to the shoulder blade. Playing through pain, he made six more starts, even throwing for a season-high 356 yards in the Nov. 30 season finale, a 52-44 overtime loss to Iowa State.
Yet Trickett learned in December that he also had been playing with a torn labrum and consulted with Dr. James Andrews about surgical options for both injuries. (Recall that Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez spent nearly two months attempting to rehab a labrum tear before succumbing to season-ending surgery last October.)
Regarding Trickett’s case, the Mountaineers team source said it’s rare to scope an AC joint after a Grade 2 sprain, in which ligaments are ruptured but the clavicle isn’t displaced. Trickett’s surgery could be used primarily to clean out debris that’s making the area and his throwing motion more painful.
Trickett exited the Iowa State game sounding confident he would be the West Virginia’s starting quarterback next season, and his availability was made even more necessary by this weekend’s reports that his roommate, rising sophomore Ford Childress, had left school and plans to transfer.
If Trickett isn’t capable of practicing this spring, that could slow some of the offseason development coach Dana Holgorsen said would be crucial to the Florida State transfer gaining a more efficient grasp of the offense. As the two endured communication lapses last season—particularly with regard to operating in uptempo mode—Holgorsen said Trickett did not possess the same play-changing flexibility as third-year holdover Paul Millard.
“(Trickett) needs to look at cut-ups from an entire year without the pressure of trying to prepare for an opponent,” Holgorsen said in late October. “He needs to sit in a room and study it, then go outside and work on that for a couple months. He’s going to need that downtime and offseason time in order to grasp what we are asking of him, which isn’t surprising (for a transfer).”
Currently, West Virginia has two healthy scholarship quarterbacks—Millard, a rising senior, and Skyler Howard, a junior college signee who enrolled last week.
Millard was 93-of-168 passing (55.4 percent) for 1,122 yards last season, with six touchdowns offset by six interceptions. He was 1-2 as a starter with an efficiency rating of 116.1 that was incrementally higher than Trickett (114.5), who went 2-5 as a starter. Trickett completed 52 percent of his passes (123-of-233) for 1,605 yards, with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions.