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Tests on Plant quarterback Phillip Ely's ailing lower back provided a few answers to the senior's injury, but it's still uncertain if the Alabama commit will be able to play in the Panthers’ Class 5A state semifinal game against Lakeland, Plant coach Robert Weiner said Monday evening.
A CT scan performed Monday and the results of an MRI exam from Saturday revealed no structural damage on Ely’s injured lower back, but he will have daily therapy leading up to game day. He figures to be a game-time decision.
“Neither of (the scans) really showed anything from what we knew before," Weiner said. "They think there's some swelling and soreness in the tissue around his back and some pain in the nerve endings. He's going to be getting therapy all week long. We're going to take it day by day with his pain. We'll see on a day-to-day basis how he responds."
The injury is similar to the one that forced Ely, who is 28-2 as a starter in the regular season and postseason, out of the first three contests of the 2009 season.
While the next few days will be critical for Ely, Weiner said over the weekend that his starting quarterback wouldn’t need to practice this week in order to play against the 13-0 Dreadnaughts.
If Ely can’t go, backup Nick Sanders, who replaced Ely early on in Plant’s 21-13 region final win over Countryside, will start in his place.
-- EDUARDO A. ENCINA (firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @EddieHometeam)