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Football: Nix out for season after undergoing surgery

Joseph Monardo | Thursday, November 21, 2013

Irish senior nose guard Louis Nix will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery on a torn meniscus yesterday morning, Irish coach Brian Kelly said in his media briefing Thursday.
“Louis Nix had surgery today to repair a meniscus that is one that has been troublesome for him,” Kelly said.
The 6-foot-2.5, 342-pound defensive lineman played in Notre Dame’s most recent contest, a 28-21 loss to Pittsburgh, but had missed the two previous games, wins against Air Force and Navy. Team surgeon Dr. Brian Ratigan performed the surgery after a second opinion from noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews confirmed the necessity of an intervention.
“I didn’t think my week would go this way,” Nix said. “Throughout the week, my leg was just painful and then [I] just communicating with the doctors, and told them how I felt, got treatment and we kept going and going. But it continued to hurt.”
Nix has 27 tackles on the season, two tackles for loss and two passes batted at the line. The Jacksonville native has 90 tackles and 2.5 sacks for his career and has compiled a number of honors and awards throughout his career. A third-team All-American last season, Nix entered 2013 on the Maxwell and Bednarnik awards watch lists, given annually to the most outstanding player and the top defensive player, respectively.
“Suffice to say that he battled through this knee injury and just could not answer the bell.” Kelly said “… Very disappointing for him, but again, I think what he’s done for our program and what he has battled through, we’ll remember him as a great teammate and what he’s tried to accomplish here these past few weeks in trying to get out on the field. And we all know what he’s accomplished in helping us build success on the field.”
Now the outstanding senior, whose recovery time will last at least six weeks before he resumes full mobility, won’t even be able to end his year on the sidelines.
“I can’t go out to practices, doc said it’s not good for me to be standing around,” Nix said. “So I’ll just go into the locker room and wait around, communicate with my guys and just be there for them.
“I mean, that’s tough too because I love being on the sideline. I love being in Notre Dame Stadium, and a lot of people do. Just being out there is exciting and it won’t be the same in the locker room. But my guys know and everybody knows the reasons why, and I’m with them in spirit.”
Nix’s parents will still travel to South Bend to participate in senior day ceremonies before the game.
“I’m happy for them because they get to share something special with me, just being at this great university, ’cause they know it turned my life around.” Nix said. “I had a lot growing up, a lot of issues, a lot of things that could have happened to me and it didn’t. And I chose to come here and it changed my life for the best. So that’s a special moment for my family.”
Nix has one year of eligibility remaining but will complete his degree in December. He is ranked among the top 15 draft-eligible prospects by multiple sources, but Nix said he is not yet ready to make a decision regarding his future.
“I don’t know what to consider,” he said. “This is a great place, a great university and it’s done a lot for my life. I feel like if I did come back it would still do numerous things for me and it would help me out. So there’s a lot of choices on both sides, but at this time, I’m not even thinking about it.
“I don’t think either decision is wrong. … This is a great place, and I enjoy all my experiences: my highs, my lows, here.”
Nix will most likely not be able to travel with the team for its final regular-season game at Stanford on Nov. 30, but will do his best to make his presence felt in the limited way he can.
“I battle for my teammates, and I play hard for them,” Nix said. “And this hurts me because I can’t do anything, but at this point I’m just going to try to be the biggest cheerleader and support my guys on the sidelines.”
Contact Joseph Monardo at jmonardo@nd.edu