Notre Dame nose guard Louis Nix III underwent season-ending knee surgery Thursday.
Nix met with the media Thursday evening, saying he underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee after the pain became too much. He says he decided to undergo the surgery after talking to school doctors and getting a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews. Team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Brian Ratigan performed the surgery.
"I want to thank Dr. Ratigan so much," Nix said Thursday. "They stay on us about these issues. He thought about my health more than anything despite me wanting to keep pushing."
The 6-foot-2, 349-pound senior has been projected as a possible first-round draft pick. He says he hasn't decided whether to turn pro or return to Notre Dame for a final season of eligibility. He did not play as a freshman.
"Realistically its still a big decision," Nix said. "I haven't thought about it. I'm just thinking about getting healthy, getting my rehab, finishing my season of Breaking Bad and just cheering on my team."
Nix was joyful and holding comedic court even on day when he saw his season come to an end and possibly his career at Notre Dame.
"This is a great place, a great university," Nix said of Notre Dame. "It's done a lot for my life. I feel like if I did come back, it would still do numerous things for me to help me out. There's a lot of choices on both sides but at this time I'm not thinking about it. I just want my guys to go out there and play and I just want to be supportive."
Coach Brian Kelly says Nix worked hard to try to keep playing but couldn't go any further. Nix also has been struggling with tendinitis in the same knee. Nix admits he has had trouble in class with his knee being uncomfortable. He also says he's had trouble sleeping.
Nix will not be able to be on the field when Notre Dame plays BYU on Saturday but he will be able to walk on the field for the Senior Day celebration to greet his parents. It will be especially emotional moment considering Big Lou's dad has never been able to be at Notre Dame Stadium for a game and Saturday will be his first.
"My dad---it would be great for him to see me play for the first time in South Bend," Nix explained. "It's hard for me because for me, I love to play, especially for my team--I've played through a lot. With my dad going down with his heart attack last year, I tried to play through the pain in the Pitt game--I chose to come here and it's changed my life and that will be a special moment for my whole family."
Nix will not be able to travel with the team to Stanford for the regular season finale.
He says it will likely take about six weeks of recovery before he can really get back on his feet but even then he won't be ready to play, meaning his out for any possibility for a bowl game.