Marcus Lattimore speaks to reporters on November 11, 2011.
Columbia, SC (WLTX) - USC running back Marcus Lattimore spoke to a group of reporters for the first time since his injury last month, saying he intends to get back to "100 percent."
Lattimore addressed reporters at Williams-Brice Stadium Tuesday.
"It's been a real challenge for me," he admitted.
The star sophomore tore a ligament in his knee during his team's 14-12 win over Mississippi State on October 15th. At the time of his injury, he was attempting to set a block for one of his teammates.
He said he knew immediately what happened.
"I heard it [his knee] kind of buckle a bit and I knew it was pretty bad," Lattimore said.
He said he has watched the replay of the injury.
"I see it [knee injuries] all the time...I didn't think it could happen to me."
Since then, he's been waiting for the swelling in his knee to go down so he can have surgery. He's also been trying to adjust to being a spectator for his team--something he said was hard at first.
"I just wanted to be out there," Lattimore said about the Tennessee game. "It was tough. I got down a bit."
But Lattimore said he's gotten a lot of support from friends, family, his team, and fans.
"Every day it's 'get better, we're praying for you,' everywhere I go," he said. "I've probably gotten over 1,000 letters from fans."
He said some of that correspondence came from school kids who wrote to him as a class.
He's also been hearing from USC running back Eric Baker, who had a similar injury, but who know says his knee is stronger than ever.
"That gives me a lot of confidence knowing that he came back stronger from it."
As for the knee, he said he's been able to bend it recently, and is looking forward to getting the surgery out of the way, which should happen later in the week. After that, the road to recover begins.
"I'm going to rehab as much as possible and try to get back to 100 percent as fast as I can," he said.
Until then, he's been impressed by his teammates, who've kept finding ways to get a victory.
"The main thing is we're winning games...we've been winning these games because we're a team."
And yes, he's already looking forward to next year.
"It's going to be real scary. [Running back] Brandon [Wilds] is playing real well. We're gonna have Shon [Carson] back. I'll be back. Our backfield is gonna be just scary."