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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, September 28, 2006

Warrior LB Kafentzis fractures ankle

UH football practice gallery

By Stephen Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Tyson Kafentzis

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Third-string quarterback Inoke Funaki is expected to be the holder on place kicks Saturday against Eastern Illinois.

RICHARD AMBO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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The results of medical tests confirm that University of Hawai'i starting left outside linebacker Tyson Kafentzis and backup right defensive end Fale Laeli will not be available for Saturday's football game against Eastern Illinois or, perhaps, even longer.

Kafentzis was diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his right ankle.

A second magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed Laeli has partial tears to the anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. The first MRI was blurry, Laeli said.

"We'll see what happens," Laeli said. "It's up to Eric (Okasaki, UH's head trainer). Hopefully, I can come back soon."

Yesterday, Kafentzis was on crutches, and his right foot was in a medical boot.

"It's bad," he said, "but it's better than a broken bone."

He said the fracture is at the base of his right ankle.

Kafentzis suffered the injury during warm-up drills Saturday in Boise. In the wrapping drill, a defender bear-hugs a leaping player, a technique designed to help in tackling. The technique was applied to Kafentzis, but he landed awkwardly on inside linebacker Brad Kalilimoku's foot.

"It was pretty nasty," Kafentzis said. "It folded all the way over. But I had my ankle brace on. It was pretty fortunate. I didn't think it would be fractured. I thought it would be a sprain. ... It wasn't Brad's fault. It wasn't anybody's fault. It just happened."

He started, but lasted only two plays.

"It kept getting worse and worse," he said. "I knew if I kept going, I might break it. I definitely didn't want to put the team in a bind. If I'm not 100 percent, you have to put in one of the backups. It was a big game. I didn't want to be selfish or anything."

Kafentzis said the injury makes it difficult to stand during practices he skipped yesterday's workout to receive treatment in the training room and to sit for long periods. "It's not good for the circulation," he said.

He said he hopes for a speedy recovery.

"Kafentzises are quick healers," he said. "Hopefully, this will be quick."

SATELE STARTS AT LB

Kafentzis' injury opens the way for Karl Noa, who made 10 tackles against Boise State, to start against Eastern Illinois. The surprise is on the other side. Yesterday, Brashton Satele, who slipped behind Noa on the depth chart last week, practiced as the No. 1 right outside linebacker.

C.J. Allen-Jones started the first three games at that position.

The coaches were vague in assessing the competition on the right side, saying Allen-Jones, Amani Purcell and Satele would play against Eastern Illinois.

"We switch them off," said George Lumpkin, who coaches the outside linebackers. "Some of the games dictate certain abilities. Some guys play better against (teams relying on) tight ends, some guys don't. It doesn't mean they can't, but we want to have the best guys in there all of the time."

As is turns out, Eastern Illinois' offense depends largely on the tight ends, and Satele, according to Lumpkin, is best suited to defending tight ends.

"Brashton is strong and he's physical and he's fast on top of that," Lumpkin said. "We're playing against tight ends (on Saturday)."

Satele said: "It always feels good to run with the first team. I have to keep working hard. I have to stay healthy."

This season, he has endured a bruised quadriceps and shoulder stinger.

ELIMIMIAN READY TO GO

Inside linebacker Solomon Elimimian, who is recovering from a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, yesterday competed in contact drills for the first time this month. He declared himself fit to play on Saturday.

"I doubt I'm starting," Elimimian said. "It's up to the coach. He'll put me in as he sees fit."

But head coach June Jones said: "He could start. He gives a lot of leadership. He's a very smart football player. He was our (second-)leading tackler last year."

UH FOOTBALL

WHAT: University of Hawai'i (1-2) vs. Eastern Illinois (2-2)

WHEN: 6:05 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Aloha Stadium

TV: Live on Oceanic cable pay-per-view digital. Call 625-8100 on O'ahu or (808) 643-2337 statewide. Delayed on KFVE Sunday 10 a.m.

AUDIO WEBCAST: espn1420am.com

VIDEO WEBCAST: Available through Hawaiian Telecom and KFVE. Tickets available for single game at $9.95, a full season for $39.95. Go to www.hawaiiantelmedia.com

RADIO: Live on ESPN 1420, with warmup show at 4 p.m. Neighbor Island simulcasts on KAOI on Maui/Kona, KPUA in Hilo and KQNG on Kaua'i

GATES OPEN: Parking lot 2:30 p.m.; Stadium gates 3 p.m.

TICKET PRICES: $30 sideline, $27 South end zone, $22 North end zone (adult), $17 North end zone senior citizen, $17 North end zone students 4-18, $5 UH students.

TICKET SALES: Available online at hawaiiathletics.com, by calling 944-2697 (BOWS) between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or at Stan Sheriff Center, Aloha Stadium, UH Campus Center, RainBowtique at Ward Centre and Windward Community College's OCET Office during business hours. Convenience fees may apply.

(FOR EASTERN ILLINOIS) PROMOTION: "Family Night" ticket discounts will be $15 each for sections in the north and south end zones. A minimum of four tickets must be purchased. Maximum is 12.

PARKING: $5

ALTERNATIVE PARKING (no tailgating):
•Leeward Community College (free with $2 charge for shuttle service);
• Kamehameha Drive-In ($5 with free shuttle service);
• Radford High School ($3 with no shuttle service).

All shuttle service runs from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and approximately one hour after the game ends.

SECURITY: Only fanny packs, purses, backpacks and handbags will be allowed into stadium (subject to check).

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: Sports Radio 1420 will provide traffic advisories and updates before each UH football home game.

BUS SHUTTLES:

Roberts Hawaii is offering round trip "air conditioned" shuttle bus services to Aloha Stadium for $6 from three O'ahu areas.

Bus No. 3 will pick up at the Hawai'i Kai Park n' Ride at 4 p.m., at Bank of Hawai'i at Kahala Mall at 4:15 and proceed to the stadium.

Bus No. 2 will pick up at the Kailua District Park, Kainalu Avenue at 4:15 p.m., at Windward Mall Shopping Center on Alaloa Street facing Sears at 4:30 and proceed to the stadium.

Bus No. 1 will pick up at the Mililani Mauka Park n' Ride at 4:30 p.m. and go directly to the stadium.

Reservations are required and service is first come, first serve. Call Roberts School Bus at 832-4886 for reservations and additional information.

City bus service

The FootballExpress offers 17 pickup locations throughout O'ahu.

The first trip from each location leaves approximately three hours before kickoff and the last trip leaves approximately 90 minutes before the game. Return trips leave as soon as the bus is full, with the final trip leaving 30 minutes after the game ends.

Honolulu pickup locations are at Ala Moana, downtown, Hawai'i Kai, Kahala Mall, Kaimuki, Palolo, Waikiki and the University of Hawai'i.

Leeward pickups are at 'Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Mililani Mauka and Village Park.

Windward pickups are at Kalaniana'ole Highway and Kailua Road, Kailua Road at Keolu Drive and Hele Street, Kailua Road at Hahani Street, Kane'ohe Bay drive at Mokapu Boulevard and Kane'ohe Bay Drive at Makalani Street.

Rates are $3 one way and $6 roundtrip. Passes and transfers are not accepted.

For information, go to: http://www.thebus.org

Reach Stephen Tsai at stsai@honoluluadvertiser.com.