The MRI on Zack Tamburo’s bum leg returned over the weekend and the injury is back to the original diagnosis.

It is a high ankle sprain, which was what it was thought to be when it happened in the first quarter against Hamilton on Oct. 5.

Later it was classified as an Achilles’ heel injury, but now clarification finally has it pegged as a high ankle sprain.

In an email, Tamburo sounded pretty confident he will play this Friday at Hamilton. I would assume there will be a brace and plenty of tape involved and very little practice this week.

It would help in getting the Thunder close to their original offensive line.

In the win over Basha, Desert Vista played without Tamburo, fellow starter Sam Hartman (injury undisclosed) and backup-forced-to-be-starter Adam Ortega (concussion).

Senior Chandler Dowell and junior Jalen Jelks filled in and helped the Thunder rush for about 240 yards.

“Chandler Dowell, how about that kid,” Hinds said. “He stepped up and did a great job and stepping back into a situation like that.”

With Tamburo out, it appears the team has developed a new leader in senior defensive back Austin Hicks, who has been pretty vocal in recent weeks.

He speaks with confidence and from the heart.

Hicks said some things that bordered on cocky that never made any of my stories leading up to it and he was pretty open about his desire to Hamilton this week after the win over Basha.

There has been a change within in Hicks, who had had a kickoff return for a score against Basha and a unsportsmanlike conduct foul against Chandler for slamming a wide receiver to the ground.

“It was time to flip the switch,” Hicks said. “The playoffs are here and it is a different level and you have to meet it.”

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN

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