Not left out
Back injury delays Gottschalk’s claim to left tackle job Posted on 04/02/2012 by PonyFans.com
Ben Gottschalk, projected by many to be the starting left tackle when SMU opens the 2012 season Sept. 1 at Baylor, sat out of the Mustangs’ first spring workout Monday with a back injury that he said could keep him sidelined “another few weeks.”
|Ben Gottschalk is sitting out the start of spring workouts with stress fractures in his back (photo by SMU athletics).
Gottschalk said he experienced discomfort throughout most of the 2011 season but played through it.
“I finally got it checked out — got an MRI — and it showed I had a couple of compression fractures in my L3 (third lumbar) vertebrae (above the tailbone),” Gottschalk said.
Gottschalk said he has been resting his back for “about a month” but will not require surgery. He recently resumed rehabilitation workouts.
“I have started to get back in to it, doing a lot of core workouts,” he said. “I started doing arms, but I’m not doing bench (press) or anything that will put a strain on (the back).”
Gottschalk said he still experiences some back pain, but he can tell the injury is getting better. He said he has been told he’ll be out of practice “for a few weeks” but should return before the Ponies’ spring drills conclude April 28.
“It’s still hard getting up out of bed in the morning — I guess it tightens up overnight,” he said. “But I’m doing a lot of stretching, and after that, it’s fine.”
Gottschalk said one practice is not enough time to get to know new offensive line coach Bob Palcic, but his initial impressions after watching his new position coach run his first practice were positive.
“He seems like a good teacher,” Gottschalk said. “We don’t know him really well yet, but he seems like one of those guys who, you punch in, get your work done, and then I bet he’s fun to hang out with afterward.”