McKenzie Milton to undergo fifth surgery next month; UCF not slamming door on 2019 return
While it remains to be seen whether McKenzie Milton can continue his football playing career, UCF isn’t even closing the door on a return as early as next season.
Earlier this month, Milton underwent a fourth surgery on his badly-injured right knee. Saturday, Milton’s position coach, Jeff Lebby, confirmed that the quarterback will undergo a fifth surgery in late January that will focus on improving nerve activity in the area.
Additionally, the assistant stated that playing in 2019 hasn’t yet been ruled out, even as it still seems highly unlikely given the extent and nature of the injury.
“Yeah, I think so,” Lebby told ESPN.com when asked if there’s a possibility Milton plays next season. “We’ll kind of wait and see. I think it’s day-to-day with him. That’s just the reality of it, and working through it all with him and our medical staff and seeing where it goes.”
In the second quarter of UCF’s win over rival USF last month, Milton went down with a horrific and gruesome injury to his right leg. Medical personnel immobilized the quarterback’s entire leg before he was taken to a local hospital for further treatment of an injury that his head coach, Josh Heupel, deemed “traumatic.”
It was subsequently confirmed that Milton underwent emergency surgery to repair unspecified damage in his knee as well as what was described as “other internal issues.” Not long after, Milton’s family issued a statement in which they described the surgery as being successful on a knee that was dislocated and had sustained significant nerve damage.
In the days following the injury, one of Milton’s teammates, Jordan Johnson, revealed that he had FaceTimed with Milton and that the quarterback stated he was able to take steps for the first time since the initial surgery was performed. In another statement, the family confirmed that “blood flow has been restored to his right leg and his nerve is injured but intact.”
Milton, who was released from the hospital eight days after sustaining the injury, is with the rest of his teammates in Arizona as UCF prepares for its New Year’s Day date with LSU in the Fiesta Bowl.