ATHENS — Sony Michel just feels awful. Not because of the pain from breaking his left arm in an ATV accident or the surgery that followed. He feels terrible for his Georgia teammates and for the Bulldogs’ fans.
That’s according to Michel’s older brother, Allen Pinder, who spoke with the Bulldogs’ star tailback by phone from Pinder’s home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“He said the first thing that came to his mind was he let everybody down,” Pinder told the AJC on Tuesday. “He’s been going really hard through camp. He wants to be a leader this year and he really feels bad about this setback. But he wasn’t doing anything crazy. It was just a freak accident. He feels terrible about it.”
Pinder said Michel remains hospitalized at Athens Regional Medical Center on Tuesday. Michel’s parents, Marie and Jean Michel, flew up yesterday and remain with him.
Pinder said he talked to his brother on the telephone briefly but that Michel “was kind of out of it,” so details of the actual accident remain sketchy. He said reports that it happened on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and that Michel would be sidelined six to eight weeks are accurate.
Otherwise, Pinder didn’t have a lot information about the when and where of the mishap. He said it happened “in a small town somewhere outside of Atlanta” and that Michel was driven to a small local hospital by his girlfriend. Then UGA director of medicine Ron Courson arranged to have Michel transported back to Athens on Sunday night. He underwent surgery Monday morning
“I didn’t get the name of the place; down by Atlanta somewhere,” Pinder said the accident site. “It wasn’t on the road or anything like that. It was like out in a field. He said he was turning left and something came across his eye so he turned right and it just turned over. He put his arm out to break his fall but it broke his arm. He was conscious the whole time.”
Pinder said the bone break was “definitely a clean snap,” but that there was no ligament damage. He also said his little brother intends to do everything in his power to still play in the first game. Whether he does or not will not be Michel’s call, however.
“The doctors assured him it’d be six to eight weeks and that he would be able to play in a soft cast,” Pinder said. “There was a little damage to the muscle but nothing bad. As long as he stays on schedule, I think he’ll be ready to play with a cast on. He should be ready to play on Sept. 3.”
Finally, Pinder said he told his brother not to beat up himself too much about it.
“I can’t fault him,” Pinder said. “He’s been going really hard all summer. He was just having a little fun and had a freak accident. He knows the timing was bad and he feels bad about that. He feels bad for his teammates and coaches, as well as the fans.”