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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Timpview's Kaufusi out for the season, won't return to football until after LDS mission in 2012

Timpview senior lineman Bronson Kaufusi felt lucky last fall after a 4A state semifinal win over Mountain Crest when he found out that a knee injury was a torn PCL instead of a torn ACL, a much less serious result. That luck, however, ran out Friday night in Pocatello, Idaho.

Late in the 34-28 Thunderbird win over Idaho powerhouse Highland, Kaufusi was helped from the field. An MRI confirmed that the senior had torn his ACL and his meniscus, according to Timpview head coach Louis Wong.

"He was bummed out but he's a resiliant kid," Wong said. "He'll have surgery in about 10 days, after the swelling goes down, but he's done."

Wong believes that the next time Kaufusi takes the field, it will be in 2012 (after a year of rehabilitation and a two-year LDS mission.

"That will give him plenty of time to heal," Wong said. "We certainly don't want him to aggravate it and make it worse."

The injury is a severe blow to the T'Bird football team -- Kaufusi was arguably the most dominant defensive end in the state -- and will also affect the Timpview boys basketball squad, which will be without its starting center.

"This affects us because he's been the heart and soul of our team," Wong explained. "But it also gives us a chance to bond and pull together. It's a chance for the next person to fill in and show what they can do."

The Thunderbird head coach added that he still expects the senior to be an important part of the team in more of an advisory role.

"Doctors have talked about a player's psyche and they say it's important for them to remain involved," Wong explained. "Some get lost after getting injured and we don't want that to happen to him. I've watched him teach kids and he knows a lot. He's going to be the second guy helping out the line and I think he's going to be a huge contributor."

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