Wikre has pinkie amputated for team, love of football
Hours into another day of practice, Mesa State College senior offensive lineman Trevor Wikre faced a life-changing decision.
For some, it would’ve been difficult.
For Wikre, the decision to amputate his severely dislocated finger Tuesday was easy.
It was easy because it gives him an opportunity to continue playing. Surgery to repair the finger meant he would likely never play another football game.
Wikre told the doctor, “‘This is my senior year. If I want to go on, I’ve got to play great the rest of the way. These are my last few games, we’ve got to make this work.’
“He’s like, ‘We can’t.’ I said, ‘We can. Cut it off.’ I love football. When you face the fact you’ve played your last game, it hurts. If you love the game and you’re told that, you do whatever you have to do to play again.
“This team means the world to me. I love everybody on the team like a brother. I told them all before the Western New Mexico game that I would have no problem taking a bullet for any of these guys. I love ’em that much. This is my bullet.”
Wikre, a preseason All-RMAC selection, will still miss Saturday’s game at Colorado School of Mines so the injury can heal before the hand is fitted for a cast. Once he has a cast on it, he will likely be cleared to play.
“He’s an old-school player,” Mesa State coach Joe Ramunno said. “This shows how much (football) means to him. It’s a pretty important thing to Trev and the whole team.”
The Orediggers (4-1, 3-0 RMAC) host Mesa State (3-2, 3-0 RMAC) in the RMAC Game of the Week at noon on Saturday. The game is televised on Altitude (Channel 48).
Wikre dislocated his right pinkie finger during a typical drill in Tuesday’s practice and had it amputated that night.
“It was just another day of work,” Wikre said. “My finger got caught in a jersey when I hit the ground. I felt something weird, but I didn’t know what it was so I played the next play. I thought I had some tape loose. I pulled my glove off and saw the bone popped out. I asked Josh (Fullmer) to put it back in and tape it up.”
Fullmer, Mesa State’s head athletic trainer, wouldn’t allow that. Instead, he had Wikre go to Community Hospital.
“You get dislocations quite frequently, especially with interior lineman, but where they actually break through the skin and it’s dislocated so much it would poke out the skin, it’s very rare,” Fullmer said. “I probably see two to three broken or dislocated fingers a year.”
Fullmer said it would’ve taken at least 41/2 months if Wikre opted to keep the finger and have surgery to reconstruct the ligaments and put a pin in the bone to hold it together while it heals.
Ligaments typically take more time to heal than bones.
“(Amputation) is not a common surgery, but it’s a bit aggressive,” Fullmer said. “Considering the circumstances, the physician felt it was warranted.”
The decision to amputate the finger made sense when Wikre was told he could eventually develop arthritis and have the bone in the finger fused later in his life or even amputated. Still, Wikre’s fiancée and mother were apprehensive.
Wikre was more upset because his evening plans with his fiancée were ruined.
“I was pissed,” Wikre said. “Trace was going to make chicken and potato salad and we were going to watch Iron Man. I missed out on all of that.”
Fellow senior offensive lineman Chris Dennehy wasn’t surprised Wikre opted for amputation.
“I knew he’d do it,” Dennehy said. “No doctor is going to tell him what he can do or can’t do. I have nothing but respect for him.
“It means a tremendous amount to me. He is one of our best offensive linemen. We need him on the field.”
Mesa State senior quarterback Phil Vigil was impressed as well.
“It’s awesome,” Vigil said. “That’s a pretty amazing commitment and sacrifice to go the rest of his life without a pinkie. It’s his last year and he can’t medical (redshirt).”