Bob Whitaker may never get rid of the pain. But that doesn't have to hold him back.
An offensive guard on Kansas University's football team, Whitaker's battle with chronic knee pain has gone on for years now. Yet he started and played extensively against Northwestern State and will continue to get important repetitions on the offensive line.
"Whatever I play with, it's been like that for 31â2 years now," Whitaker said. "I'm used to playing with it."
Whitaker, who started his first three years at KU, takes occasional rests during practice, and he sat out a couple of series against Northwestern State while Jake Cox played left guard. He could have his knee problems repaired down the road, but not anytime soon.
"Maybe one day," Whitaker said, "but right now I'm playing through it and living through it. It's been holding up pretty good lately."
¢ Still battling: KU coach Mark Mangino said linebacker Jake Schermer, for a time one of the first-team linebackers, was back on second team. Eric Washington, Mike Rivera and Joe Mortensen started against Northwestern State on Saturday.
"We have no reservations at all about playing him," Mangino said. "It's just that there's guys ahead of him at this point."
¢ Groomed: Starting cornerback Blake Bueltel had a noticeable afro at Saturday's game when he took his helmet off on the sidelines, but it disappeared before Wednesday's practice.
"I cut it off today," Bueltel said. "It took about 20 minutes, and I had like a four-inch pile of hair."
¢ Uniform woes: Louisiana-Monroe has a new nickname -the Warhawks - and with it comes new uniforms.
Any day now.
The Warhawks debuted their home uniforms last week against Alcorn State, but according to the Monroe News Star, the road uniforms hadn't arrived by Tuesday afternoon.
If they don't show by Friday, ULM will have to ask permission to wear its home maroon uniforms for Saturday's game against Kansas.