Sidelined Tigers Form Brotherhood Over Injuries

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COLUMBIA -- Injured running back Henry Josey is making his way back from a serious knee injury, and probably will not play this season but one Tiger teammate is supporting him every step of the way.

When Henry Josey first visited the Missouri Football program, Will Ebner was his host.  It was the start of a friendship that evolved into best friends. Like the Fox and the Hound, this is the odd combination of linebacker and running back.

Henry Josey was having a season to remember when he had a play to forget.

"I planted wrong," Josey said. "I think my ACL went before anything else. That tore and the way he pulled me down I fell back on my leg and that's how all the rest of it messed up."

Josey immediately knew it was the last rush of his season.

"I could tell it was bad because I was messing with my leg and I could feel it dangling. I put it back together myself and then it came apart again. I was like, 'oh man. it's bad'," said Josey.

"He texted me when he was in the hospital and said it was rough." Ebner said, "I told him that whatever you need me to do I'm there for you."

To teammate Will Ebner it wasn't just words. Ebner stayed with Josey in his hospital room: day and night.

Ebner said, "[I stayed] On a chair in his room. I brought a pillow for my head. I'm an easy sleeper. I can sleep just about anywhere. I brought that and a computer and we just kinda hung out."

For days as long as Josey stayed in the hospital, Ebner stayed by his side.

"He took it farther than a friendship. It was like he was my brother," Josey said. "He was there for me. He had class but he was still there, he had practice but he was still there."

Ebner said, "There are always those one or two friends that mean something different to you and Henry's got that factor in my life and it's almost like he's a brother to me."

Brother's and care-takers for each others football wounds.

"It's become a big joke between the two of us for the smallest things. We stub our toe, I'll take care of you. Stuff like that," said Ebner.

Josey has three seasons to play two. Odds are he'll see this season from the sideline.

"I'm looking at it like keep working hard," Josey said, "Whatever happens... happens. If I can play this year it will be a miracle, but still I can get out there."

Ebner said, "When he's ready he's going to come back and be the same player he was."

Same player who now knows he has a life-long friend.

"He's really taught me a whole lot about being strong and keep fighting," Josey said, "He's been by my side the whole time."