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DeAndre Brown - Southern Miss - breaks leg during bowl game (tibia and fibula)

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Published on Dec 21, 2008

Five minutes into the game, Brown caught a pass for a nine-yard gain to set the school single-season receptions mark. Then, on the next USM drive with the Golden Eagles at the Troy 30-yard line, Brown broke free on a route near the left sideline. Quarterback Austin Davis lofted a pass, but just as Brown planted his left foot, it seemed to catch in the turf. He tumbled to the ground while trying to extend for the ball. Brown immediately began to clutch at his lower left leg, holding it up in the air as part of the leg dangled at an impossible angle. It was one of the more gruesome injuries you are likely to see, and you had to wonder: Is his story headed for a heartbreaking ending?

A cart immediately was rushed out as teammates and USM medical staff hovered over him before the freshman was driven off with the leg in an air cast. The crowd began chanting "De-An-dre! De-An-dre!" Brown was rushed to Tulane Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with a fractured left tibia.

USM went on to rally without its star to win 30-27 in overtime. Afterward, Tony Hughes, the USM assistant who had recruited Brown, remarked how bittersweet the victory was. "They only thing you can do when you see something like that is start praying," Hughes said. "It's so sad. He's such a good kid."

However, as shocking as it might sound after seeing such a horrific break, Brown might not miss a game in 2009. According to The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, Brown was to undergo surgery Sunday night as soon as he arrived back in Hattiesburg.

"It's a clean break," USM orthopedic physician Lance Line told The Clarion-Ledger's Tyler Cleveland late Sunday night. "We're going to operate tonight in Hattiesburg, and he will definitely miss all of spring practice, but if everything goes perfectly the rehab should take about six months."

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