Cragg Undergoes Surgery; McDonnell Hopeful All
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Senior All-American Alistair Cragg will miss a majority of the cross country season after undergoing surgery on September 26, to correct a sport hernia. A Laparoscopic Hernia Repair procedure was performed on the Johannesburg, South Africa native to correct the condition he has suffered from since this past May.
“He’s a big loss for our cross country team, but we’re glad we finally found out what the matter was,” Arkansas head coach John McDonnell said. “We’ll have to go ahead with a very young squad and hopefully he’ll be back in time for the Southeastern Conference Championships. He’s such a tough kid and he thought it was just a sore muscle. His condition was not fully diagnosed until earlier this fall. After it didn’t get better over the summer with rest we decided to go ahead and have the surgery.”
Cragg’s 2002-03 cross country and track and field seasons were nothing short of phenomenal. During the 2002-03 campaign he earned three individual national titles, five All-America honors, four conference crowns, helped Arkansas to two team national championships and was named the SEC Athlete of the Year.
At the 2002 NCAA Cross Country Championships Cragg was the national runner-up and the top Southeastern Conference finisher in the 254-person field. He claimed the South Central Regional title, while earning another runner-up accolade at the SEC Cross Country Championships.
Cragg is expected to start rehabilitation in two to four weeks and will start competitive training in four to six weeks. The SEC Cross Country Championships are on November 3, in Athens, Ga., with the NCAA Championships in Cedar Falls, Iowa on November 24.
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