It was a tense week for Alabama football and its fans, all whom endured the anxiety of wondering about the extent of sophomore-to-be quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s broken left hand.
But that worry extinguished Tuesday evening when UA coach Nick Saban basically said Tagovailoa was recovering well.
When Tagovailoa hit his left hand on a helmet last week the news created a mini-panic among Crimson Tide loyalist. The subsequent surgery went well and Tagovailoa hasn’t missed a practice since.
“Tua was actually able to do stuff in practice today. Actually able to hand the ball off, grip the ball and throw the ball a little bit,” Saban said. “Just amazing technology that we have now, and the expertise that our people have in terms of doing a great job with our players. We’re really excited that he’s making a good recovery. He’s got a really good, positive attitude about it, and we feel good about where he’s heading.”
Of course it was Tagovailoa who entered the national championship game after halftime to help lead Alabama to a 26-23 overtime win over Georgia. His three touchdown passes, including a 41-yard, game-winner to DeVonta Smith, helped earn him the game’s Offensive MVP.
Saban said that Tagovailoa is practicing under no restrictions, just the same as the other quarterbacks, Jalen Hurts and Mac Jones.
“Obviously he’s got a bad hand and we don’t want anybody to hit on his hand, but hopefully in a very short time, he’ll be able to get back in there and the soreness will go away,” Saban said. “The swelling is down. He’s getting his strength back. He’s getting his grip back. I don’t think we’ll have to make any special provisions for him in terms of how he practices and what he does relative to his pain tolerance.”
The Crimson Tide coach also went out of his way to think the Crimson Tide’s medical staff, including Lyle Cain and the surgeons at Andrews Sports Medicine.
“Dr. Cain and our medical staff do a fantastic job here,” he said. “I tell you what, we probably have the best medical staff and the best medical group of people. Dr. (James) Andrews, Dr. Cain, their whole group of people over there have done a phenomenal job with so many players here. I guess it’s a little bit like having insurance. It doesn’t matter what kind of insurance you have until you have to make a claim. But these guys are fabulous and when we get guys hurt, man they do a great job with them.”
Reach Aaron Suttles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.