Nov. 15, 2006
SEATTLE(AP) -- Isaiah Stanback's right foot is still set in a boot, he moves around on crutches and takes pleasure in begin able to move his toes again.
This wasn't how the Washington senior anticipated spending his final Apple Cup week.
"It's a slow process and it really makes you appreciate everything you take for granted in life," Stanback said this week.
Stanback suffered a season-ending injury to his right foot during the fourth quarter of Washington's loss to Oregon State on Oct. 14. He had surgery the following week, and will need about eight months of rehabilitation.
By moving his toes in recent days, Stanback said the swelling in his foot has dramatically decreased.
"I'm hoping to beat all those times, hoping to get back," Stanback said.
Before his injury, Stanback's performance had coaches throughout the Pac-10 Conference lauding his leadership and believing he could be the Pac-10 offensive player of the year. Entering that afternoon game against the Beavers, the Huskies were 4-2, had nearly won at USC the previous week and seemed destined for a bowl game.
Stanback had thrown for 1,325 yards and 10 touchdowns and run for another 350 yards and four scores before his foot gave way on the Husky Stadium turf.
Washington hasn't won since. It goes into Saturday's Apple Cup without any bowl chances, hoping to finish 5-7.
At first, Stanback hoped it was simply a badly sprained ankle. But as he crumpled to the turf, Stanback saw the end of his college career flash before him.
"That's where most of the pain came from, your career flashing in front of your face," he said.
Stanback's professional aspirations haven't dimmed, although his professional career most likely will be as a receiver. He won't be able to participate at the NFL combine or Washington's day for players to work out before professional scouts during the winter, but has been able to lift weights and hopes to have recovered by late May or early June.
"I'm going with the flow, just trying to make progress every day," Stanback said.