Awful news from the gridiron as starting sophomore right guard Mike Donoghue has been diagnosed with congenital spinal stenosis and will never play football again.
CSS is an inherited condition characterized by a progressive narrowing of the spinal canal. Continuing to take part in something where so much contact is involved would put Donoghue at great risk of severely injuring his spinal chord.
According to the U of L Sports Information Department, Donoghue met with specialists in Indianapolis on Friday and it was determined that his spinal cord has tightened and that there is no fluid in that region to protect the spinal cord from further injury.
"I feel for Mike a great deal," said head coach Steve Kragthorpe. "Mike was developing into a good football player, but he was also a tremendous person. We are disappointed he will no longer have the opportunity to play football at Louisville, but he will always be a member of the Cardinals' football family. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike during this difficult time."
Donoghue began the spring below Marcel Benson on the depth chart at right guard, but moved into the starter's role when Benson was diagnosed with the heart condition Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome after experiencing an irregular heart beat on the last day of spring practice. He started the first seven games of the season before missing Friday's game against Connecticut, where he was replaced by junior college transfer Abdul Kuyateh.
Obviously this is terrible news for everyone involved, but especially for Donoghue himself, who was really having a fine season and who I wish nothing but the best for from here on out.