NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -For almost two months, SFA junior John Comeaux worked hard everyday inside the William R. Johnson Coliseum.
No matter how hard he worked, fans could not see the progress he was making. Comeaux was abscent from the Lumberjacks first 11 games of the season. Each game he could be found in dress clothes on the end of the bench trying to give whatever support he could give. On the outside he would smile and talk to the fans when they called his name. On the inside, a fire was burning, making him wish he was on the court.
That fire would push him hard everyday at rehab. Comeaux was trying to prove people wring by coming back from a serious microfracture surgery. It would not be the first time he came back from the injury. He hasd the same surgery several years earlier when he was 13.
All the hours of rehab finally paid off when the University of Alabama came to SFA this past weekend for a historic game. A few minutes into the game Comeaux made his season debut. It did not take long for the guard to drive towards the basket and make a basket. It took the crowd all of a split second to erupt in cheers.
“It felt great, just not knowing if I would get to play again and to just be acknowledged like that," Comeaux said."Everyday was hard. Nothng came easy. Every day was a struggle. It was just going in my mind everyday. I just sat down and said, ‘I can’t let this slide. My team needs me. My family needs me.’"
Fast forward to practice on Tuesday afternoon, Comeaux was back at work with the team. After making a great shot, Head Coach Kyle Keller could be seen smiling and excited for the young player.
“I will be honest with you," Keller said. "I didn’t expect him to play for us. You don’t have two microfracture surgeries and play ball at the high level. Now he is playing before January 1. He’s superman. Nobody does what he is doing. He is made out of iron.”
Comeaux is not downplaying his return. He knows how limited time can be in a physical game for a player his size with the injury he had.
“I don’t take nothing for granted," Comeaux said. "Every time I get on court I play for God first then for the team.”
“He is right about that. This is a God thing,” Keller said. “God has his hands on John and on the surgeons. This is something special.”
In his first game of action, Comeaux played 24 minutes and scored 13 points for the Jacks.
“Man I am unfair,” Keller said with a chuckle. “I asked him to play until he was exhausted and he only had four days of practice. He just looked at me and said, ‘I got you coach.’”
Now Comeaux and the Jacks look to start off play in the Southland Conference with a win over Southeastern Louisiana on Wednesday night in Nacogdoches. The game will be a rematch from last year’s conference tournament final in Katy. Tip off for the game is set for 6:30 p.m.