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Virginia Tech's Greg Nosal talks about his pinkie-less performance vs. CMU

He didn't take part in a full practice Monday, but two days after having the top half inch of his left pinkie finger ripped off during the Hokies' 45-21 win over Central Michigan, Virginia Tech left guard Greg Nosal was out on the field running sprints with part of his left hand wrapped in a soft cast.

The redshirt junior told reporters he suffered the injury on the first play of Virginia Tech's second-to-last series before halftime, meaning he stayed in for another three plays before coming to the sideline. But let me just turn it over to Nosal, since he's the one who has forever etched himself into Hokies lore.

“It was the first play, I ended up missing my cut block so that’s what made [quarterback Tyrod Taylor] scramble. When he was scrambling, I went to crack back on the defensive end and my pinkie got caught in his face mask. I felt like it was just a really bad cut. I went through the whole series squeezing my hand, applying pressure to it, and when I looked down my whole glove was bloody and it was dripping down my arm.

"So we end up getting a first down and then we go three-and-out on that series and as I’m running off the field, I take my glove off and I look down and I see my bone sticking out. So I immediately ran over to [head trainer Mike] Goforth and I was like, ‘Will you guys tape this up?’

"He grabbed my arm and just took me into the locker room. They novacained it up and they kept asking me, 'Do you know where it happened on the field,' and I was like ‘Why does that matter?’ Finally as we're walking to the X-ray room, I was like, ‘Why do they want to know, did my finger fall off,’ And [Goforth] is like, 'I’ll tell you when you’re lying down.'"

Nosal said that he was the one who told trainers the missing piece of his pinkie was probably still in his glove. He said his nail actually remained in place, but "the meat" from the beginning of his nail up was gone.

"I was more shocked about seeing my bone and the yellow fat in my finger," said Nosal. "Like yellowy stuff. That’s what got me. I knew then this wasn’t just some cut. ... It was painful but nothing worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The adrenaline was pumping. As the game went on I could feel it pumping, just throbbing. The novacaine really helped out."

The modified cast Nosal wore in practice covered just his ring and pinkie fingers. He also wore a glove that was partially cut open so the cast could fit inside.

But maybe the best part about the scene Monday was running back Darren Evans, who was seated next to Nosal waiting to be interviewed. As his classmate Nosal told the story, Evans kept shaking his head in disbelief and said with a smile, "That's just crazy."

The story, though, has picked quite a bit of national acclaim. Nosal's injury and subsequent courage (or craziness, depending on who you ask) has already been featured in, USA Today, The Huffington Post, and

ESPN's Erin Andrews is going to have a feature on Nosal for "College Gameday" this week and a Virginia Tech official told me they provided her with a five-second clip that shows Nosal walking to the locker room with Goforth holding his arm in one hand and a small plastic bag containing his chunk in another.

“I guess it’s a big deal if your pinky gets ripped off," said Nosal when asked about all the attention this has received. "I really didn’t think too much of it. It happens, it’s football."

By Mark Giannotto  | October 12, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
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Next: Virginia Tech injury updates on Williams, Coles and Rivers


49er Ronnie Lott lost his finger in 1985, in a game against the Cowboys. It was due to a brutal collision with running back Timmy Newsome. He decided to amputate it because he would be out of commission for several games while it healed. With it cut off, he played the next game.

Posted by: hokiedad | October 12, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

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