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Injury Bug Hits GhostRiders...Early And Often

April 16, 2007 - World Indoor Football League 2 (WIFL 2) - Osceola Ghostriders News Release

[KISSIMMEE, Fla.] - ER, Mash and General Hospital have nothing on the GhostRiders. Not only did Osceola lose 55-46 at Augusta, they lost several key players due to injury. Franchise player, James Panui tore his MCL. Fellow receiver Julius Eppinger broke his ankle. Yet another WR, Dante Johnson tweaked his hamstring leaving Lamont Finnie as the only healthy WR for the GhostRiders (3-3). And did we mention QB Rob Harding suffered a hip pointer?

Panui injured his knee on the GhostRiders first offensive possession. Head Coach Marquette Smith says, "It is tough to see one of your guys go down, but we rallied and the other guys really stepped up." Panui is second on the GhostRiders in receiving with 19 catches for 254 yards and 3 touchdowns. Panui will be sidelined for at least 4 games and may be lost for the season.

The GhostRiders decimated receiving corps took another blow when Eppinger broke his ankle in the third quarter. "I was hoping it was just a bad sprain, but the doctor looked at it and said it was broken," states the rookie wide out who will likely miss the remainder of the season. Johnson played his way through the pain and defensive lineman, Harvey Joiner teamed with Finnie to finish the game as Harding's targets.

With eight players on the injury report, Smith is bringing in a few new (and healthy) faces. Smith has signed DB Jeremiah McLaurin and WR Gerald Gayles.

The GhostRiders will need to heal quickly to get ready for the Thunder (1-5) when the two teams meet in Daytona next Sunday.

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