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Linebacker Frank Zombo: I'm starting to get scared

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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I rarely feel too bad for injured athletes. Injuries are an inherent part of sports, especially a violent game like football. It's a shame when they cut short a career and worse when it drastically affects someone's everyday life after they're done playing. But injuries happen.  Knees, shoulders, hamstrings, ankles, feet, ligaments, breaks, pulls - it is what it is. But I actually felt bad for the Packers Frank Zombo on Tuesday. The second-year linebacker will miss another game Monday Night with a left hamstring strain. It's the third injury he's suffered this season - broken shoulder blade, hyperextended knee, hamstring. Zombo has only played in two games, and was hurt again in both. Bad luck. That's life in the NFL. What made this a little different this time was Zombo addressing the media this afternoon in front of his locker. He was visibly frustrated. He was legitimately sad about his circumstances. He didn't want to talk about it. He said he's starting to get scared. The argument can be made that Zombo, really, is playing with house money. An undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan wasn't supposed to become a starter on a Super Bowl team. 2010 was probably more than he ever expected. But Zombo looked like a man who may be starting to doubt his future in the league - and is torn up about it. Here's the transcript of the session with Zombo today: "I'm very frustrated. I guess in this league injuries come and go. But to have three in a row like this... Coming back, I feel so pumped to be back and a little knick puts you out again. What are you going to do? Just reahab and try to get better as soon as you can. Obviously it's really frustrating." "It's a one-week deal, but how many more times can this happen to me? Obviously, I'm just really frustrated. The best thing to do is to stay positive, but it's hard to do in a situation like this where it just keeps coming. I've just got to stay positive and get treatment and get back there as soon as I can." "A lot of things could have contributed to it - a long plane ride, different things like that, coming out of halftime. A lot of things have gone through my head about why this could happen. Why's this happening to me?" "I'm not someone who drinks during the season or anything like that. Am I living wrong? I try to get good sleep. I'm trying to do everything right. It's just an unlucky time, I guess." "I was just chasing a wide receiver and I just felt it kind of go. I just felt pain back there and was like it must be a hamstring. I've never had one before. I just knew. I broke my scapula and I played through that. I sprained my PCL, played through that. I hyperextended my knee, played through that. When I hurt that hamstring, I was like, there's was no way I'm playing through this. They hurt really bad. It disables your whole leg." "I didn't want to go to the trainers or anything. I was like, for real? It just was a shocker. Like I said, frustrating." "It's like a sharp pain. Whenever you try to explode or put pressure on it, you feel that pain." "I had probably everyone I know text me or call me and I can't even answer. I was dreading coming in here to today just to talk about it. I just can't talk about these injuries anymore. I know that's frustrating, right? But it is, it's taken its toll. I just have to be mentally tough and pull through it." "It felt awesome to be back. It's fun to play on this team and in this league. I'm starting to get scared. Are my chances running out on me? I'm trying to stay as long as I can and little things are just keeping me away from it." "I feel sorry for (the coaches). I feel like going up to them and apologizing. Kevin Greene is the best coach to have in a situation like this. He's been through it. He's played in this league. He's obviously really supportive - all the coaches and training staff are. "I in a way feel bad now. I feel like I'm stealing in a way. I want to get out there and play. I want to earn my check. These injuries are keeping me from doing this." "I'm not having anything that requires surgery, but it doesn't really matter at this point because I'm still not able to play on the field and it's starting to take it's toll."

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