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Chris Rainey's weak shoulder a concern

GAINESVILLE -- I'm no doctor but I have dislocated my shoulder a couple times. It's a bizarre feeling. Imagine actually thinking that your arm might fall off at any second while enduring a pain that can only be described as a hot knife being wedged between the joint connecting your arm to the rest of your body.

Worst of all, if you dislocate your shoulder once or twice, there's a chance it will continue to happen the rest of your life.

After watching UF running back Chris Rainey writhe in pain on Florida Field on Saturday, I'd bet a Heisman that Rainey dislocated his right shoulder when he fell awkwardly during the second half. If so, this is upsetting news for Rainey, who arrived at Florida as damaged goods and had surgery last season to correct his shoulder problems. Florida officials said that Rainey injured his shoulder against LSU but didn't comment on the severity of the injury.

Recovery time for a dislocated shoulder depends on the extent of the injury and the pain tolerance of the player. For Rainey, recovery time might be longer than most.

Rainey, who has a history of dislocating his shoulders, was overused as a high school running back and should have sat out either all or part of his senior year of high school football. Unfortunately, Lakeland High coach Bill Castle didn't see it that way and now Rainey's weak shoulder will be a chronic problem for the remainder of not only his football career at UF but the rest of his life.

Just my opinion, but it might be time for UF's coaches and trainers to make an important decision regarding the long-term health of Rainey's shoulders. Obviously, a bum shoulder for the rest of your life is not a life-threatening injury but chronic pain could permanently alter Rainey's quality of life.

If you think I'm over exaggerating, think again. According to Meyer, Rainey was non-functional last season because of his shoulders. Rainey had his first shoulder surgery before his senior season of high school football and during his senior season Rainey dislocated his shoulder several times and still played. I saw it happen once (2006 state championship game).

How much more damage can Rainey's shoulders take?



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