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Friday, December 9, 2011
Denard Robinson battled staph infection

By Michael Rothstein
WolverineNation

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson spent a night in a local hospital earlier this season to treat a staph infection, the junior said during a press availability Friday afternoon.

He wasn't sure how he got it. He said doctors told him it might have been from the playing turf but assured Robinson he would be OK even as he spent time in the hospital.

"I wasn't worried that much," Robinson said.

The infection was on his right (throwing) arm, near his elbow. He said he contracted the infection "after the first or second game" of Michigan's season and that the infection bothered him for two to three weeks.

Robinson wore a heavy protective wrap on his right forearm during the Minnesota game on Oct. 1, and after the game described the injury as a "boo-boo." Now, it is clear it was more than that.

Both Robinson and Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Friday that the infection almost kept him from playing in at least one game. Hoke said, however, the team did not have to quarantine its star quarterback.

"There was some concern," Hoke said. "They are serious. You want to make sure you are doing everything the right way to help him through it. We have a great medical staff here and they did a tremendous job."

Robinson said the infection affected his ability to throw "a little bit."

"I played with it," Robinson said. "So no complaints."

Dr. Stephen Lemos, the chair of Detroit-based DMC Sports Medicine, said staph infections can cause immense pain, depending on where they are located in the body. Speaking generally about staph infections, Lemos said that pain, if close enough to a joint, could cause problems in the throwing motion for an athlete.

"It depends where it is. If it is a knee joint, you cannot walk," Lemos said. "You cannot put pressure on it, it is excruciating. If it is in the skin, the pressure can cause a significant amount of pain."

Robinson was so secretive about the injury that junior safety Jordan Kovacs had no idea about the injury until he was told by the media Friday afternoon. Senior defensive tackle Mike Martin knew about Robinson's infection but not about his hospitalization.

It was the first of a multitude of injuries for Robinson this season, including injuries to his hand, wrist and another previously undisclosed abdominal injury. All of this left him fighting through injuries throughout the season.

"There was a lot going on, but we had to fight through it," Robinson said. "We just had to keep fighting."

Robinson said he is completely healthy now. He completed 133 of 237 passes for 2,056 yards, 18 touchdowns and 14 interceptions this season. He also rushed for 1,163 yards and 16 touchdowns.

He will lead Michigan to the Allstate Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech on Jan. 3.

Michael Rothstein covers Michigan football for WolverineNation.