Ben Martin injures other Achilles: 'Thanks for the support'

Senior defensive end Ben Martin speaks to the media during a press conference at the Stokely Family Media Center inside Neyland Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Senior defensive end Ben Martin speaks to the media during a press conference at the Stokely Family Media Center inside Neyland Stadium on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010.

Anything Tennessee got after one ruptured Achilles tendon for Ben Martin was going to be a bonus.

Now the Vols defensive end will have to recover from a second surgery for the same injury before he can make another run at his delayed senior season.

Lost for the year after going down almost as soon as camp opened last fall with the damage to his Achilles, Martin’s path to recovery hit another major hurdle when he suffered the same injury in his other leg in a workout Monday morning. Martin is scheduled to have surgery later this week in an effort to return in time for the fall, but an exact timeline for him remains unclear at this point.

“Thanks for the support (people),” Martin posted on Twitter. “I needed it but I know God has a plan for me and I'm not hanging my head.

“I'm ready for this long road.”

Martin has already been down it once now, and until reaching another roadblock he seemed to be progressing well in his rehab and bid to get back in the lineup this season.

Both he and defensive tackle Marlon Walls went down during the first week of practice last season with matching Achilles injuries, forcing UT to replace a pair of expected starters and deal with a shorter talent pool all season up front. The Vols addressed the lack of depth by landing four defensive linemen on National Signing Day, and the anticipated return of Walls and Martin would have been icing on the cake.

But UT wasn’t banking on guaranteed production from them once the recovery process was over. And particularly in Martin’s case, coach Derek Dooley indicated in a December interview that the Vols would have to be able to move forward without the defensive end if he couldn’t get healthy after using his redshirt season last fall and being limited last spring with a knee injury.

“You lost experience in Ben,” Dooley said. “I view them as gravy. I’m approaching it as if they don’t exist in recruiting, because I haven’t seen them do anything. That doesn’t mean they won’t or can’t, but I’ve never seen Ben Martin practice one down since he’s been here. To sit there and say we’ve got an all-conference end coming back is a little bit absurd to me.

“If they come back - do we need them to come back and be good players? Absolutely we do. We’ll see.”

After another setback to another Achilles, it will take Martin a bit longer to show the Vols whether or not he can pull it off.

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.

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Comments » 33

kdaff51 writes:

??? is this a training problem?

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

This is not good!

DancingOutlaw writes:

First it was blamed on the turf. Turf got changed. Now what is it?

PepperGrinder (Inactive) writes:

It just never ends.

jrobi124 writes:

i have had achillis problems and they are painful and it could be he was to worried about hurting his injured achillis that he put to much strain on the other one. this is a set back for him and the program just hope somebody will step up and fill in for him.

NashvillePreds writes:

Disappointing.
Guy came in a big 5* recruit, and it just hasn't panned out.

VolunteerLifer writes:

Apparently, Ben's achilles heels are his achilles heel.

PeeEllthree writes:

in response to jrobi124:

i have had achillis problems and they are painful and it could be he was to worried about hurting his injured achillis that he put to much strain on the other one. this is a set back for him and the program just hope somebody will step up and fill in for him.

Yep. Overexursion on the other parts of the body due to injuring one part are common. Then again, I hate adidas so I'm saying its the shoe. I tore 2 acls and an achilles. I was wearing adidas each time and didn't suffer any other injuries in other shoes. I wish him well. I don't think I can think of 3 NBA, nfl, or ncaa players that came back to a competitive level after achilles tears. I know there are some, but it's 10 times as brutal as an acl, mentally and physically.

BigVolinCarolina writes:

My goodness. Always hate hearing about injuries.

Hang in there, Ben. Rest assured that you're being prayed for!

KC_Vol writes:

Well here's hoping that Martin can heal fast and enjoy his senior year helping the Vols continue to build success.

CHITOWNVOL writes:

Bad news, can someone have 2 medical redshirt seasons? Probably a stupid question and I think the answer is NO. he was a recruit in 2007 and did NOT redshirt. hence, this would be his last year of eligibility. i really think he has potential to have a breakout year if he can get healthy. it would be very unfortunate for us and Ben if he doesn't recover for 2011

99gator writes:

some people are just snake bit.

very unfortunate. did the other achilles even heal completely yet before he injured this one?

reelvol writes:

Chitown Vol - this year was Ben's 4th year - and considered his redshirt year. So he hasn't had a medical redshirt and would be eligible to apply and play his senior year in 2012.

No reason to give him a medical scholoarship and free up the scholoraship for a juco transfer for 2011 - any decent 2011 juco has alrady signed. No need to free scholoarship at all since we aren't yet at the 85 max anyway.

ncvol17 writes:

Bag it Ben. Get a degree and make some alumni business contacts.Stay in K town and be successful post UT football. That's a wrap.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to kdaff51:

??? is this a training problem?

Achilles injuries are almost always due to an inherent weakness in the tendon itself, not any particular activity. If you've seen one happen on TV, the person is generally not involved in contact or any sort of extraordinary movement - it just tears. I'm not surprised he hurt the other one as the same genetic weakness would be present there as well. I doubt he will be all that useful as an SEC defensive end with two repaired tendons but you never know. It is a shame, he seems to be a fine young man and I wish him the best, football or not. Go Vols!!!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to 99gator:

some people are just snake bit.

very unfortunate. did the other achilles even heal completely yet before he injured this one?

Probably not as it normally takes a year before one can engage in "strenuous" physical activity, of which SEC football would certainly qualify. And it just demonstrates that it wasn't an activity that caused the injury because they are just doing off-season workouts right now. Too bad for him and I think you're right - snakebit.

givehim6 writes:

Tell you it's almost like as soon as NSD was over UT got hecksed we have lost a coach, players, players got injures, WOW. Goog think we have good players coming in by OCT. they might be our starters. Just jokingbut you never know.

cc623 writes:

Poor guy!Hate to hear it for UT's sake and his.Guess it could have been expected since the "wear and tear" on the one he just "hurt" was increasing daily while recovering/rehabbing the previously injured one.

OrangePride writes:

Horrible injury and horrible news. Beyond the fact that the Vols may be without him again this year, I just hate to see a man have to suffer through a second one of these. So, best wishes and your attitude is an inspiration!

TNboy72 writes:

Yikes! I've torn my Achilles and as bad as that was, I couldn't imagine doing the other one before the first had fully healed. It would be maddening.

HallowedHill writes:

Incredibly strong words of faith and courage from Ben.

GO VOLS!!!

CarlChilders writes:

in response to lakindofguy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Uncalled for, moron.

Pointguard writes:

Could be due to a certain medication he's on - apparently there is something out there making tears easier to come by.

BigBadVol writes:

in response to lakindofguy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Are you really that immature? I bet your parents are proud.

brokendownoldvol writes:

Bummer. Wish him the best of luck in getting better. Some things are more important than football. He has to be really down.

sizeDD writes:

in response to Driving_Ms_Dooley:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

FYI - Burnett hasn't played for the Cowboys since 2008 and currently plays for the Chargers.

gbeejr#1354500 writes:

I like Ben and hope the best for him, but he probably is toast. I tore my achilles and the fear of tearing it again shook my confidence and I never was the same. I can't imagine doing it again to my other heel. Good luck to Ben.

ETNTigerFan writes:

Tough break for a good kid. Hope he heals up.

fubar writes:

"No one goes through life undefeated"

The I-dude, FBN

VOLliven2it writes:

Man I hate this so much, not just for the team but for the young man. I hope it does not exclude him from continued playing of a game we know he loves. Hang in there Ben and we hope to see you back on the field.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Ben is a really good man. I saw him on the strip at Rocky Top market one day. He was pumping gas beside me, so I just started talking to him. He was talking to my son, asking him questions about school, sports, respecting his parents. My boy was 8 at the time, so even though Ben wasn't the biggest star it was a HUGE deal to my boy. Just a well rounded soft spoken young man. NOBODY deserves success more. Hang in there Ben!!!!

NorthwestVol writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Ben is a really good man. I saw him on the strip at Rocky Top market one day. He was pumping gas beside me, so I just started talking to him. He was talking to my son, asking him questions about school, sports, respecting his parents. My boy was 8 at the time, so even though Ben wasn't the biggest star it was a HUGE deal to my boy. Just a well rounded soft spoken young man. NOBODY deserves success more. Hang in there Ben!!!!

Thanks Rich. It's good to hear a positive note on one of the Vols.

wellswillie#404648 writes:

This is really tough Ben but you can do it one day at a time. The entire Vol nation is behind you whether you are able to play or not. But you did not get to be this good a player by being a quitter, so work smart and work hard - & you WILL be COMEBACK PLAYER OF 2011. GO VOLS!!!

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