Paterno nears surgery

Through the bits of information he's divulged over the last two months, Joe Paterno has a hip injury and will need to have surgery to correct this problem. On Saturday, he said he would likely have something done the day following this Saturday's season finale against Michigan State. Yesterday, he was back to being evasive, but it is almost certain he will have hip replacement surgery in the coming days.

What, then, does that mean as far as his coaching responsibilities for the next month? According to two hip replacement specialists, the surgery is fairly common and shouldn't take long for the 81-year-old coach to rebound from. In fact, Paterno should be able to attend practices leading up to a bowl game and should be able to travel with the team to whichever bowl it qualifies for. He probably won't be down on the sidelines for the game, but if he returns next season there's a good chance he'll be running out of that Beaver Stadium tunnel come game time.