POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 19, 2009
"I have to be here for my team," Satele said after the Warriors' practice yesterday. "Even if it's just as a vocal leader, I'm going to be here for them no matter what."
Satele, the Warriors' projected starter at middle linebacker, suffered a dislocated left shoulder during practice last Saturday. After meeting with doctors on Monday, it was decided he would have season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Even while facing the possibility that he might have played his last UH game, Satele brought an upbeat presence to the practice field the last two days, helping oversee the linebackers in drills and running with the team at the end of the practices.
Rather than dwell on his misfortune, Satele appeared at peace with his circumstances and vowed to continue to support his teammates as he recovers from the injury.
"It hasn't really bothered me because I have no regrets over what happened," he said, "because I put in hard work and I busted my butt every single day this summer. It's frustrating, but I don't have any regrets. Nothing's really bothering me right now. I'm fine with it.
"I'm just excited to watch these guys play, because I know we're going to be a good team so I'm just excited for the season."
Satele said the surgery is scheduled for Aug. 26. He used a redshirt year as a freshman in 2005 and plans to petition for a sixth year of eligibility after the season.
But he could still have an impact on the 2009 team.
"He's an outstanding player and he assumed the leadership roles of the defense and of the football team," UH head coach Greg McMackin said. "I still think he's going to be one of the leaders of our football team whether he's on the field or not."
Satele said he had a similar injury last season, when he started eight games and posted 53 tackles, but opted not to have surgery at that time. The shoulder caused him problems since then, the latest incident occurring as he tried to make a tackle during a scrimmage last Saturday.
"I kept reinjuring it and it just got worse and worse," Satele said. "This time it came out and it didn't go back in, so that kind of scared me. I had four doctors pulling and yanking on my arm.
"We met with the doctors, we all came to an agreement, and I talked to Coach about it, and we're just going to do what's best for my health and take care of my shoulder.
"It was just one of those unlucky things. That's how the game is, one play and you can be done, so you have to play hard."
While he recovers, Satele said he'll do what he can to help Mana Lolotai and Jake Heun assume the middle linebacker's duties.
"Brashton knows the whole defense so it's good to have him as an extra coach," Lolotai said. "Whenever something goes wrong, Brashton is right there when we come off the field and tells us what he sees."
"We need his experience," linebackers coach Cal Lee said. "He's helping us coaching, helping the backup guys, being very supportive to the other linebackers."
Lolotai's performance in spring practice gave the coaches the confidence to pencil him in as the starter at middle linebacker when the coaches were considering moving Satele to defensive end early in the summer. Heun was a running back last season, but moved to linebacker in the spring, a return to what he considers his natural position.
"Mana was competing for (the starting job) and Jake is one of our hardest hitting, hardest working guys," McMackin said. "So I have confidence in both those guys."
While Satele won't be able to put the gains he made in a rigorous summer training program into use this season, he plans to stay in shape with an eye on his eventual return to action.
"I cannot go back to where I used to be," said Satele, who dropped from 265 pounds to 240 in the offseason. "I'm going to try to stay at this weight and be ready when the time comes."