In Mick Cronin's press conference Friday afternoon, there was no
mistaking his admiration for Mike Williams and his disappointment in losing one
of the best players on his roster.
Bearcat Insider had spoken to Williams only minutes earlier as the
forward sat on the
Mike explained how he injured his Achilles. "One day I was running during conditioning, and I planted to turn and my Achilles popped." The injury occurred about ten days ago, and Williams has already had the needed surgery. His foot is presently in a cast, and he is on crutches. Depending on his rehab and other considerations, he could possibly return later in the season.
Despite being unable to play, Williams is still considered one of the leaders of this team. Mike explained how he plans to fulfill that role. "I will constantly be around the guys and talking to them. We're still together. I'm just not able to play. That will be the only difference."
The eternal optimist, Mike has handled the setback as well as can be expected. "I try not to be disappointed because I don't want to think negatively. I try to stay positive and the coaches, my teammates and my family keep me positive as well. That means a lot to me. I'm moving forward and look to return to being 100%."
Even though Mike might not play the entire season, he thinks the Bearcats will be much better and gave his reasons. "They'll have better depth and have a bunch of hungry guys."
The veteran believes the freshman class will provide the club with a big lift but thinks the upperclassmen have improved as well. "I think everybody will help. We've been playing together all summer, and I think everybody will do some good things."
An Achilles tendon injury can be very debilitating for any athlete, and Mike knows the road to recovery will be a difficult one. "The doctors say I can fully recover, but I have to be totally committed to my rehab. I know it's going to take time for it to fully heal."
If Mike has to sit out the entire year, he plans to petition the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility.