Ann Arbor — The playing career of Michigan offensive lineman Grant Newsome will be the decision of a number of doctors who have seen him through his complex, devastating knee injury that has kept him off the field since 2016.
Newsome has described his right leg as “dying” and said he was minutes from losing the leg. He was hospitalized at UM Hospital for 38 days and had six surgeries in 40 days.
He took part Thursday in the presentation of a check of more than $211,000 to the ChadTough Foundation for DIPG pediatric cancer research at Mott Hospital. He joined teammate Chase Winovich’s fundraiser that began before the bowl games. When certain goals were met, players dyed their hair orange in honor of Chad Carr, who died at age five from the rare brain cancer. Carr was the grandson of former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr and All-American Tom Curtis.
As the Wolverines prepare for the start of spring practice in late March, Newsome is going through winter workouts with them. He told The Detroit News in December he hopes to participate in spring practice, and if not, hoped to be ready for the season.
“It’s up to the doctors at this point,” Newsome said. “I feel confident that I could play right now and I could contribute to this team, but ultimately, it’s up to the doctors. Obviously, they’re going to make the decision that’s in my best interests and I’m going to respect that because obviously certain things are bigger than football.
“I feel like I’m in a good place in my recovery, and we’ll see what they say, if it’s clearance now or it’s clearance we want you to wait a little bit or if it’s we want you to retire. It’s really up to them, but I have the utmost faith in them and their decision.”
Winovich, who decided to return to Michigan for his fifth season, said what goes under the radar is how much work Newsome has put into rehab to try to return to football. Newsome worked with the team last season as a student coach.
“Having a great offensive line is a great part of a great offense, and Grant was a great player for us,” Winovich said. “Grant’s in there every single day getting treatment for hours. I don’t know how he goes to school — I know he’s a great student — but for hours, dry-needle therapy. Every time I walk in there he’s got his arm, his leg all worked up. If anybody can do it, it’s this guy right here.”
Newsome said he will meet with his doctors in the next few weeks.
“I’m not a doctor, (but) I feel good, that’s what I’ll say,” he said. “I feel really good. I feel I could contribute to the team this season.”