Devon Allen hopes to return to track and field competition next spring after suffering a major left knee injury playing wide receiver for the University of Oregon on Sept. 17.
Allen, who finished fifth in the Rio Olympic 110m hurdles, said Wednesday that one of his goals is to compete in the U.S. Championships in Sacramento from June 22-25.
He also said it’s possible he could race at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Ore., on May 27.
Allen, a 21-year-old junior, tore his left ACL and MCL and suffered meniscus damage in a non-contact injury defending a punt return Sept. 17.
He said it’s the same injury he suffered on the opening kickoff of the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2015, just to the opposite knee. Allen returned from that injury to play in 12 of 13 games for the Ducks in the 2015 season.
“I still think I can be a two-sport athlete,” said Allen, who had surgery on Oct. 7 and is currently on crutches. “I’ve come back from it once already. I pretty much competed at the pinnacle of our sport coming off a knee injury, and I’m pretty sure I can do it again.”
Allen expects to be able to run in three or four months after the surgery, but being able to compete in the 2016 NCAA track season “is kind of pushing it.”
Before this injury, Allen said his NCAA track career may be over. On Aug. 25, he expressed a desire to turn professional in track and field (while keeping his football eligibility) and pursuing a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
While Allen believes he could be back on the track by May, he also said the recovery could end up being so extended that he misses the next college football season.
“Maybe I don’t play football for the next year or so,” Allen said, “but I definitely want to try and play at the next level.”Follow @nzaccardi