Broncos rookie RB hurts elbow, will miss three months

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Rookie running back Ryan Torain is expected to miss about three months after undergoing surgery for a broken bone in his left elbow, Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said Thursday.

A somber Shanahan announced in a near-whisper that the surgery was scheduled. Asked if the injury was a blow to the organization, he did not respond.

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The loss of Ryan Torain almost guarantees that Selvin Young will open the regular season atop the depth chart, so he's a much safer pick as a borderline No. 2 or 3 fantasy back, says NFL.com's Michael Fabiano. Full story ...

Torain, writing a blog post on denverbroncos.com, confirmed the surgery.

"I have surgery around 5:00 p.m. on Friday where they'll repair some ligament damage and put a plate in my elbow," Torain wrote on the team's official site. "I'm going to be staying overnight, and I'll probably be back at the rookie hotel on Sunday morning. I'll probably be away from training camp for three or four days when I'll get the swelling down, then they'll put me in a little brace where I'll be able to work my movement in my elbow. Then I'll just be rehabbing with Greek (head athletic trainer Steve Antonopulos) and the trainers."

Andre Hall, one of the Broncos' three remaining healthy running backs, said the loss of Torain "messes things up."

"Ryan had the big body and the team had a short yardage package in for him," he said. "The rest of us are going to have to step it up."

Besides Hall, the Broncos have Selvin Young and Anthony Aldridge at running back

Torain, a fifth-round draft pick out of Arizona State, was flipped while rushing during 9-on-7 drills on Wednesday.

He was hit by linebackers Jordan Beck and Spencer Larsen and by safety Roderick Rogers, and he put out his left arm to brace his fall.

"When I saw him go down, it hurt, but I was hoping he just got bumped up," Hall said, "that he would be all right, miss a few plays and come back in the third or fourth periods of practice."

Instead, Torain collapsed to the grass behind the goal posts as team doctors were leading him off the field, and he remained down for several minutes. He eventually was taken off the field in a cart.

"It is obviously more serious than what was first thought," Shanahan said.

Shanahan wouldn't speculate on how the missed practice time would affect Torain's ability to make the team.

"It depends on the recovery," Shanahan said. "We just have to see how the operation goes and see what the doctors say."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.

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