Noel Suffers Torn ACL
Course of action to be determined by May 1
April 18, 2002

BLACKSBURG - Virginia Tech quarterback Grant Noel underwent an MRI of his left knee Thursday morning at 7 o'clock at Montgomery Regional Hospital to evaluate the lateral meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament. The tests came back positive for a torn ACL in the knee.

Noel also underwent a KT-1000 test, administered by team physical therapist Mark Piechoski to measure the laxity, or looseness, of the knee. That result came back showing some looseness, but not a significant amount.

Over the next two weeks, head athletic trainer Mike Goforth, along with team orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Marc Siegel, will closely watch Noel's knee to determine the course of action.

"Right now, Grant's a candidate for conservative treatment," Goforth said. "That involves a brace and rehabilitation. We'll know more by May 1 what way we'll go with this. The good news is there was no tear in the meniscus. Grant has some bone bruising on the lateral side of that left knee, which was causing our initial diagnosis of a possible lateral meniscus tear. That bruising shouldn't cause any problems. Both meniscii were fine, but the lateral meniscus was a little contused."

If Noel does not have surgery, he should be ready for practice in August. If something happens within the next two weeks, requiring surgery, the rehabilitation time is about six months, putting him out until October.

"The way everything came back this morning, I feel real positive about it," Noel said. "My ACL is torn, but I'm hoping I don't require surgery. Right now, I'm focussing on resting this for a couple of weeks, then going in and building my muscles in my upper body and knee up so I can be ready in August. I know I'm going to have to wear a brace and will have to work hard in the training room, but in my mind, I'm going to be ready for practice in August."

Noel, a redshirt senior from Ridgely, W.Va., was already planning to stay in Blacksburg for the summer to work out. Noel hurt his knee cutting on the turf at Lane Stadium/Worsham Field Wednesday in practice. The injury is a non-contact one.

This injury is to Noel's other knee as he suffered a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee in July of 2001.

Noel is out for the Spring Game, which will be held Saturday at 2 o'clock in Lane Stadium. Though the final format for the game has not been set, it is likely No. 2 quarterback Bryan Randall will see action with both squads, wearing a yellow, non-contact jersey.