by Dave Miller
August 13, 02012
UCLA inside linebacker Patrick Larimore, who was voted a team captain in 2011, medically retired after Sunday night's practice, delivering a huge blow to the Bruins' defense.
The redshirt senior and California native suffered his second concussion in a span of six months last week, and he had been experiencing symptoms that were believed to be related to heat exhaustion. However, it eventually was revealed that the effects were from a more serious condition.
Teammates were reportedly informed of the news during a team meeting, and this shocker comes on the heels of offensive lineman Chris Ward announcing last week he would medically retire as well.
UCLA also lost defensive end Sam Tai for the season after he tore his ACL. But losing Larimore, the anchor of the defense, is a serious blow to a unit that was looking to improve in Jim L. Mora's first year as head coach.
Larimore started all 13 games last year and was named the team's defensive player of the year after leading the team with 81 tackles. On a unit that was often considered soft in 2011, he brought a certain degree of toughness and was well-respected by teammates and the new coaching staff. Redshirt junior Todd Golper, who has battled injuries in the past, will likely step into Larimore's starting spot.
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