Special teams force Thurmond III out for season with injuries

The Oregon athletic department announced Tuesday that senior cornerback Walter Thurmond III will miss the rest of the season following his upcoming surgery to repair an injury sustained in Saturday’s game against the California Golden Bears.

The team captain suffered an injury to his right knee in the first play of Oregon’s 42-3 win against then-No. 6 Cal.

“It sucks that my college career had to end like that,” Thurmond said to The Register-Guard. “I really was just starting to get warmed up for the season, and showed a little bit of what I could do. Now the biggest thing is coming back better and stronger than I was before.”

An MRI Sunday showed that Thurmond had torn his anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments, The Register-Guard reported.

“I’m in good spirits right now and really trying to get this surgery underway so I can get the rehab along the way,” Thurmond said to The Register-Guard. “Now it’s just time to move forward, and I’m still going to be part of this team.”

He is unlikely to receive a medical redshirt for next year, which means his next step would be preparation for the NFL draft.

In the meantime, Oregon loses its best defensive playmaker. Thurmond has already returned a punt and an interception for touchdowns this season, and his five touchdowns on interceptions and special teams are the most by a non-offensive player in school history.

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