Tulare High star running back Romello Harris had his broken left ring finger surgically repaired Monday in Visalia and might return as soon as the team’s next game.
“We will know Friday,” said coach Darren Bennett, whose 4-0 and Central Section 15th-ranked team has a bye this week.
The Redskins will next play at home Oct. 2 in a nonleague game against No. 18 Dinuba (3-1).
Harris, a four-year starter chasing the section career rushing record of 8,029 by former Mendota player Edgar Segura, broke the finger playing safety in the opening minutes of a 45-19 win Friday at Kingsburg.
Orthopedic surgeon Ian Duncan of Visalia inserted a plate and seven screws into the finger, Bennett said.
Harris, who left the game for good Friday after the injury and didn’t play offense, has 6,315 rushing yards in his career.
That trails Segura, Tulare’s Dominique Dorsey (7,761, 1998-2001) and Bakersfield’s Steve Wofford (7,100, 1992-94) atop the section chart, according to historian Bob Barnett.
Harris has rushed for 947 yards and 12 touchdowns this season, increasing his career TD total to 77.
Should Harris play a minimum of eight more games this season – the final six in the regular season and at least two playoff games for a team expected to contend for the Division II title – he would have to average 214.3 yards to pass Segura.
Pursuing Harris, a near-straight-A student, most aggressively have been Fresno State, Colorado State, Washington State and the service academies (Air Force, Army and Navy). USC and Florida also may climb aboard.
Against Kingsburg, Harris was replaced by sophomore Kazmeir Allen, who averaged 18.4 yards a carry, rushed for 331 yards and scored four touchdowns.
Making the Redskins’ running game go is one of the best front lines in school history, featuring three-year starters Ulisis Nunez, at right guard, and center Marcus Alonzo. They are flanked by left tackle Erick Robles, left guard Isaak Ramirez and right tackle Brian Wendt, who started last year as a freshman.