PHOENIX, Ariz. – Kansas State defensive coordinator Tom Hayes said, “Without question we’ve missed Ty. We’ve missed his abilities, but also his leadership on the field.”
The good news is that Ty Zimmerman is expected to be “nearly” at 100 percent for the Jan. 3, Fiesta Bowl game against the Oregon Ducks.
It was in the 23-10 victory over TCU on Nov. 10 that Zimmerman suffered what is believed to be a broken fibula.
“It was something like that,” grinned the Wildcat safety staying true to coach Bill Snyder’s rule of not talking about injuries.
What followed was a 52-24 loss to Baylor, followed by a 42-24 victory over Texas for the Big 12 Championship.
“It’s been very frustrating having to watch from the sidelines,” said Zimmerman, who recorded 45 tackles this season with two fumble recoveries, and a Big 12-high of five interceptions, which included picks in four consecutive games … a first for a Wildcat since 1989.
“As a player you never want to sit on the sidelines and just watch. You can say only so much that can help your team.”
Zimmerman, who had started 35 straight KSU games prior to the injury, said he was never given a timetable for his return, but instead told that the rehabilitation process would be monitored on a weekly basis.
He said he started “moving around and doing some stuff” following the Texas game, and today he says, “I feel great. The biggest thing is mentally getting back into the game. I just have a greater appreciation for the game after sitting out for that time.”
Asked if there’s anything he “can’t” do, Zimmerman said, “I haven’t seen anything yet.”
Overall, Zimmerman, a first-team All-Big 12 selection and third-team All-American pick, said of the year, “It’s been a fun season being a part of something special. This will be a great chance to close things out the right way.”