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Taft High's D.J. Morgan has torn ACL

Morgan, a football and track star who has committed to USC, was injured Thursday in a playoff game against Garfield. He will require surgery.

November 25, 2009|Eric Sondheimer

The high school sports season for football-track standout D.J. Morgan of Woodland Hills Taft might have ended today when an MRI exam diagnosis revealed he has a torn ligament in his knee and a partial tear of the meniscus, according to football Coach Matt Kerstetter. Surgery will be needed.

Morgan was injured Thursday night during Taft's City Section Division I first-round playoff victory over Garfield. He had an MRI exam Friday night, but it wasn't until today that he received a definitive answer about the ACL injury. Kerstetter did not know if Morgan would be able to return for track season in the spring.

Morgan is the No. 1 hurdler in the world for his age group at 110 meters. This summer in Italy, he won the 110 hurdles at the World Youth Championships. This spring, he won the state championship in the same event. He also has rushed for nearly 4,800 yards in his four-year football career at Taft.

Morgan has committed to USC, though he has plans to visit Arizona State.

Taft has plenty of depth at the running back position and probably will turn to Lucky Radley to replace Morgan for Wednesday's quarterfinal playoff game against Dorsey.

Morgan's speed and versatility made him a valuable player in the City Section. He even served as the backup quarterback last week when starter Bam Goodall was injured in the second quarter.

Morgan went down after a 15-yard run at the outset of the third quarter, and that injury will have ramifications for the rest of the sports season, with California possibly losing its most prolific returning track standout.

Recovery from surgery for a torn ACL can take up to nine months, according to Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute

eric.sondheimer@latimes.com

twitter.com/LATSondheimer

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