Michigan standout offensive guard Zak Zinter suffered a broken tibia and fibula in the Wolverines’ 30-24 win over Ohio State on Saturday. Zinter’s mother, Tiffany, announced on Instagram that Zak was expected to undergo surgery on Saturday night.
“Huge thank you to the hundreds of family/friends/fans that have reached out,” Tiffany Zinter wrote in an Instagram story. “Please know we’ll read them when we get a moment. We are beyond feeling the LOVE!
“On the bright side…he’s 3-0 against OSU!! This is a TEAM and a brotherhood! They FaceTimed him from the locker room while he was in the ER, true brothers!! Love this team and FA[M]ILY!”
Later on Saturday night, Zinter confirmed on social media that he had undergone successful surgery, while thanking his team for having his back and finishing strong in the win over the Buckeyes.
Zinter’s injury occurred late in the third quarter of Saturday’s game when his left leg got rolled up on as J.J. McCarthy completed a pass down the field. Zinter was in pain right away and the injury was so severe that the FOX broadcast opted not to show a replay of it.
As Zinter remained on the field for several moments, fans at The Big House began a “Let’s go Zak!” chant and Michigan players consoled his parents when they came down on the field. Zinter was eventually carted off the field.
Zinter’s injury proved to give Michigan an emotional lift. On the very next play, Blake Corum broke away for a 22-yard touchdown run to give the Wolverines a 24-17 lead. The fellow senior signaled “6-5” (Zinter’s jersey number) to the camera after his score.
Interim coach Sherrone Moore seemed hopeful that Zinter would be able to play football again at some point following a phone call with his mother. But Moore acknowledged the brutal reality of the injury.
“It was extremely difficult,” Moore told reporters. “When you’re around a player for four years, or you’re just around all these guys in general, you don’t want to see any of them get hurt in any way. And it was hard, especially a kid of his caliber on and off the field. More so off the field, just such a great student, athlete, great person.”
Michigan will be without its most decorated offensive linemen for the remainder of the season as the Wolverines are looking to win the program’s first national title since 1997. Zinter is also regarded as a potential first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 3 Michigan Wolverines Highlights
Zinter wasn’t the only notable Michigan player to suffer an injury that caused him to leave Saturday’s game. Standout cornerback Will Johnson, who was tasked with covering Ohio State star Marvin Harrison Jr. and recorded an interception in the first half, departed in the second half of Saturday’s game.
Moore took a more hopeful and optimistic tone when discussing Johnson’s injury.
“Yeah, I think he just had a lower leg injury,” Moore said. “I think he’ll be alright. But the guys just adjusted well. I mean, end the game with a pick.”
Michigan will look to continue its undefeated season when it takes on Iowa in the Big Ten Football Championship Game (8 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app). A win on Saturday would mark a third straight conference title and likely a third straight trip to the College Football Playoff.
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