Houston likely out for season with torn hip flexor muscle


Thursday, October 26th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



BOULDER, Colo. (AP) _ University of Colorado freshman running back Marcus Houston will likely sit out the remainder of the season because of a torn hip flexor muscle, coach Gary Barnett said Wednesday.

``I think it is in his best interest to go ahead and redshirt him,'' Barnett said. Barnett and Houston met after practice Wednesday and agreed to the move.

Barnett said Houston could play in the Nebraska game Nov. 24, but the decision would be up to Houston.

``I'd say at this point, I'm more on the verge of doubtful,'' Houston said.

Team physician Dr. Robert Loeffler said Houston will not fully heal until at least late November.

The main question surrounding Houston's injury had been whether he should risk his health further with the 1-6 Buffaloes' season nearly over and the team already out of the postseason picture or sit out the final four games and retain four years of eligibility with a medical redshirt.

Houston injured his hip during the Sept. 16 game against Washington and has not played since. He returned to light practice Wednesday.

Houston said Tuesday that he wants to play again this season if it's prudent. But he also wants to take no chances of impeding a full recovery.

``Based on how it feels today, I don't know if I'd necessarily be surprised if I didn't play,'' he said before jogging during CU's practice. ``My main emphasis is just being healthy, and this is not an injury that I'd like to prolong or have it linger and bother me in the future. So, I'm just going to get to the bottom of this now and make sure I'm healthy.''

Offensive lineman Karl Allis avoided contact during Tuesday's practice to protect his sprained shoulder, but his status for Saturday's game against Oklahoma State is unclear. Tailback Cortlen Johnson (shoulder) and offensive lineman Justin Bates (sprained ankle) appear unlikely to play.