Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher has confirmed that true freshman running back Mario Pender will miss the 2012 season with a groin injury, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The injury will require surgery for Pender and will force him to redshirt the season.
While a devastating injury for Pender, the Seminoles will be just fine depth-wise without him. Senior Chris Thompson and sophomores Devonta Freeman and James Wilder, Jr. were all ahead of him on the depth chart, meaning the talent Florida State has will be able to overcome the injury.
Pender was expected to rotate in occasionally throughout 2012, but the redshirt will give the true freshmen the opportunity to still play for four years starting in 2013.
Fisher did note that this is an injury his team is seeing more of recently: "It's the new injury of ball. Some of the NFL teams are sending six, eight, nine guys a year to it. … Instead of making it worse, we're going to get it fixed and have it ready to go."
Pender has been walking through practice the last couple of days, but ultimately missed Tuesday's practice. Fisher also said that the tailback may be healthy to compete by the latter half of the season, but it's important that Pender gets the rest he needs.
If the injury takes a little longer to heal, it's okay, as the Seminoles are not pressed for his return.
Ultimately, it's imperative Pender gets himself 100 percent healthy and returns when ready. Florida State has the talent without him, so taking the necessary time to heal will not be devastating. What would be more devastating is if he returns too soon and further injures himself.
So while Fisher is confident in a quicker recovery time, no need to rush Pender back. The Seminoles will be just fine without him for now.
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