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Friday, December 19, 2014

Shoulder surgery shelves Clark for the season

Head coach Mike Locksley confirmed Tuesday that Lobo safety Ian Clark will undergo season-ending surgery on his left shoulder this week.

Earlier this month, a source told the Daily Lobo that it was “90 percent sure” Clark was out for the season after he re-injured his left shoulder in UNM’s season-opener against Texas A&M.

Clark didn’t play in the Lobos’ home-opener against Tulsa on Sept. 12, but he dressed against Air Force, fielding a punt in the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach.

For the last two weeks, though, Clark has been extremely limited, filling in only on special teams. He’s returned just three kickoffs and two punt returns for a total of 44 yards.

“The doctors approved him to do things where his arms wouldn’t come away from his body,” Locksley said. “He elected to try to go until the surgery could be scheduled.”

Throughout his four-year career, Clark has been beset by shoulder issues. In 2008, Clark had offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He also underwent a procedure to correct the problem in his left shoulder, the same one he dislocated in the Lobos’ 41-6 loss to Texas A&M.

Locksley said Clark waffled on the decision, but in the end it was the best thing for him to do.

“He went back and forth about whether or not he wanted to play through it,” Locksley said. “Even up till now, it’s still been a struggle for him, because he’s such a competitor. He’ll at least give himself a chance if the next level comes calling.”

Check Friday’s sports section for more details.