Blake DeChristopher Reportedly Out 4-6 Weeks

If you were following along this morning, you caught rumblings that preseason All-ACC tackle Blake DeChristopher suffered a pectoral injury. At the time the extent of the damage or how long he'd be out for was unknown. Later in the morning BeamerBall.com noted DeChristopher would be out two weeks and left guard Greg Nosal isn't 100% ready to practice, still recovering from his offseason shoulder surgery.

HokieSports released an update this afternoon stating DeChristopher would be out 4-6 weeks.

I don't want to speculate on the reason for the confusion between two sites that should be on the same page, but it seems like the injury is a little more severe than was thought before noon.

If the offensive line is going to be successful this season they need DeChristopher and Nosal healthy. DeChristopher has 37 career starts, 22 in a row, and is referred to as "the leader of a veteran line", in the media guide. Nosal started every game last year, over 800 snaps in his career, including one with a nub for a pinky finger. In my opinion these are our toughest and best two offensive linemen.

David Wang is Nosal's backup, and I feel good about him playing right away. He knows the system, is strong, has a low center of gravity, and was named the most improved offensive player during spring practice. However, I'm not sold on any of the guys who may replace DeChristopher. Vinston Painter is a champion of the weight room, but hasn't transitioned his massive size and strength onto the field. Michael Via did a better than expected job in 2009 with three starts at center, but I haven't seen enough of him at tackle. Nick Becton could flip over from left to right tackle, but he didn't look impress me last season or during spring.

I'm sure we'll hear and know more about these injuries once practice starts on Thursday. On the bright side, at least time and depth is on our side.

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Comments

this really sucks

That's a performance-affecting nagging injury at best in 4-6 weeks. Throw in some atrophy in one of the most important areas of a lineman's body and you're looking at November until he's back and strong.

I agree. I don't get to see my Hokies live since I leave in Atlanta but hopefully he is back by the Nov 10 so I can see them smash the yellow jackets.

The Good News

I know we arent overlooking the cupcakes this year but luckily we do have 4 in a row so its not THAT bad in terms of having a replacement as a stopgap. The problem does arise in getting in Rhythm with LT these first few. Im on the fence here but I dont expect some glaring issue until he returns.

agreed! might be a great chance for guys like VPainter to get some game experience. This guy is a monster, and will be vital next season when we lose the majority of our OL

A little more information after doing some reading about these injuries last night.

A strained pectoral muscle is actually a slight tear in the chest muscles. It happens when the muscle is stretched too far and is typically experienced by people who exercise without properly warming up. You may not feel any pain when you strain your chest muscles. That comes later, once you begin to cool down and the adrenaline is no longer pumping.

Grading the Strain
There is a method for grading the severity of the muscle strain. Grade 1 causes minor discomfort but doesn't hinder your activity. Grade 2 causes more discomfort and can begin to limit your activity. You may also find some swelling and bruising. Grade 3 causes a lot of pain, swelling and bruising.

Treating the Strain
To recover from a muscle strain, your body needs rest. Stop exercising and allow the body to repair itself. Make sure your diet has enough protein in it so that the building blocks are there to repair the torn muscles.

via http://www.ehow.com/about_5073567_symptoms-strained-pectoral-muscle.html

How Long Does It Take to Recover?

Strains can vary in severity. Minor strains can heal sufficiently to play in just a few days. More serious strains require surgery, which require two to three months of recovery time.

via http://www.menshealth.com/injuryreport/torn_pectoral.html

I'm not a doctor, but based on how long BDC's going to be out it sounds like a moderate strain. This is going to be a nagging injury over the course of the season.

I've suffered a few of these in my day...Not to play the sky is falling, but they really are a major pain in the @$$ for an athlete. Rest is mentally difficult and can lead to being overly aggressive in rehab, which can lead to re-injury, etc...bad cycle.