By LARRY VAUGHT
Ohio junior offensive lineman Paul Rodriguez, one of UK’s early 2021 commits, will need surgery on his foot Thursday.
He broke his fifth metatarsal — the inside bone in his foot near the ankle — and has had his foot in a boot.
“It’s not too bad. He’s going to have a screw put in Thursday to hold down the bone,” his mother, Wendy Rodriguez, said. “The bone is broken but not displaced. His surgeon worked for our Mason (Ohio) football program.”
Like most other school systems, William Mason High School is out due to the coronavirus and the virus made even a trip to the doctor’s office for a consultation before the surgery much different than normal.
“They called and gave us an appointment and told us to text this number and let them know when we got in the parking lot,” Wendy Rodriguez said. “Then they let us know when to come in the door.”
The UK commit’s mother is just glad he’s going to be able to have his surgery.
“We even had to change hospitals because they have consolidated hospitals here,” she said. “We are luck because since this is a non-essential surgery it was supposed to be postpone but still got scheduled. For a little screw that goes into your toe, it’s been pretty hectic to get it fixed.”
Rodriguez played part of his junior season with a cast on his broken thumb for six weeks.
“Every Saturday we went back to the doctor who would take the cast off, re-Xray and then put the cast back on again,” Wendy Rodriguez said. “The surgeon put the cast on himself to make sure it was done the right way so it would be acceptable (to let him play). Paul is one tough guy, though.”
So tough that he’s not only continued working on Jimmy John’s with the broken bone in his foot but he’s been picking up extra shifts since school was called off, including this week before his surgery.
“He just keeps going. That’s the way he is,” his mother said.