Best recovering at home, may not play again this season

November, 10, 2009
11/10/09
3:38
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

While California running back Jahvid Best, who was knocked out and suffered a concussion in the Bears loss to Oregon State, was released from the hospital Sunday, he has not yet returned to classes and is presently recovering at home.

That casts doubt onto whether he will play again anytime soon -- if at all -- this season.

"I don't even know and that's really the last thing on my mind is him playing again," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "The No. 1 thing, 100 percent, is that he comes back with a full recovery. If that means never playing again this season, then so be it. That's totally the last thing on our minds. The first and foremost thing is his welfare and his health. We're haven't even thought about when he may return... It hasn't even been discussed."

Best, who hails from Vallejo, which is in the Bay Area, was at one point a leading Heisman Trophy candidate. He's presently fourth in the Pac-10 with 867 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns.

Best was hurt on a short touchdown run when he tried to leap over a defender and ended up landing on the back of his head. His helmet flew off on landing, and he was motionless after impact, stunning players on both teams and the crowd at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. His jersey was removed and he left the field on a gurney while wearing an oxygen mask. He immediately was taken to the emergency room, but it was soon reported that he had movement in all of his extremities, and CT scans and X-rays showed no permanent damage.

Best had suffered a minor concussion the week before, however, which made the situation more serious and likely will make doctors more cautious.

"It was a very serious incident," Tedford said. "He's at home with mom and dad, recovering. So it's a day-to-day thing... I'm not sure when he will back in school. It's going to be completely on when he feels able to do it. There's no rushing him through this at all in any way, shape or form, in the classroom or anything like that. We want to make sure that he has time to completely heal."

Cal plays host to Arizona on Saturday. Backup Shane Vereen will replace Best in the starting lineup.

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