Torn adductor to keep Houston on bench

BOULDER, Colo. -- Colorado running back Marcus Houston has a partially torn adductor muscle in his upper thigh which will keep him sidelined indefinitely.

Houston missed the team's opener Sunday night -- a 24-22 loss to
Fresno State -- because of a lingering groin injury. An MRI
confirmed the exact nature and extent of the injury on Wednesday.

"It's one of the muscles that pulls your knee towards the
body," CU team physician Dr. Robert Loeffler said.

Loeffler said the course of treatment will continue to be stretching and strengthening exercises.

"His recovery is on track for this kind of injury, and he will be released (to play) when Steve (CU trainer Steve Willard) and I are in agreement that he is ready," Loeffler said. "He'll be evaluated daily, but at this time I can't put a timetable on his return."

Houston, the nation's top-rated running back when he was
recruited by Colorado in 2000, rushed for 332 yards in three games
as a freshman but missed the remainder of the season with a torn
hip flexor muscle.

Houston has been hobbled by the groin injury since midway
through fall camp.

Colorado coach Gary Barnett said on Tuesday that he didn't
anticipate Houston being available for Saturday's game with
in-state rival Colorado State.

There have been conflicting reports as to whether Houston has held himself out of practices or has been held out by the coaches.

Barnett, who said Houston was not cleared to play by the medical staff last week, said the player will ultimately determine when he is able to resume competing.

"You've got to believe your players," Barnett said. "Players
want to be on the field. If they can't play, they can't play.
That's the way it is. You trust what your players tell you."

On Wednesday, Barnett said, "I believe in Marcus Houston, I believe that he's a tough kid, and I believe that he'll be ready to play before most people would be."

Loeffler said the MRI showed that Houston's muscle-to-bone ratio
was very high, meaning his muscles have developed faster than his
tendons and bones.

"It's just his natural body," Loeffler said, "and guys like
Marcus tend to have these sorts of injuries more often. There's
nothing that Marcus is doing to cause this, and it has nothing to
do with any kind of conditioning or weight drills. He's just having
muscle-tendon problems that we hope in time can be managed."