The injury bug has hit the University of Louisville basketball team.
But until Saturday afternoon all of the injuries were minor. Not this one.
Junior post player Mangok Mathiang, who Rick Pitino calls the "vocal leader" of the team, broke a bone in his left foot and will be sidelined six to eight weeks, according to Pitino. He suffered the injury in a 78-56 win over Western Kentucky.
"We got some bad news with Mangok and it's really going to hurt us," Pitino said. "It's an unfortunate injury. Not only is he the most physical player offensively and defensively, but he talks the most. We can replace the physical stuff.
"But it's the talking. That's the biggest problem we will have."
Mathiang, a redshirt junior who suffered a broken bone in his left leg in high school, said he "felt a pop" in his left foot as he tried to plant. He played "without a lot of pain" for a few seconds and the next trip down the floor "is when the pain came."
"I just kind of knew something was messed up but I tried playing through it," he said. "Usually I play through all my pains and just keep grinding through it. This time, something told me to stop because it might be something serious and you don't want to make it any worse."
Mathiang went to the locker room and was back on the bench by the end of the game with a walking boot on. He expects to have surgery on Monday to insert a screw into the fracture.
"It happens," Mathiang said. "I still have to be the vocal leader and other guys have to step up."
Senior Damion Lee said the team will have to "play through it. The next man has to step up."
Mathiang, who had three points and five rebounds in 21 minutes against Western Kentucky, was averaging 7.6 points and 5.8 rebounds a game in 18.6 minutes for the Cardinals.
He's the fourth U of L player currently with an injury.
Anas Mahmoud, a 7-foot sophomore, missed his second consecutive game with a sprained ankle but is expected to be back on Tuesday night for a game against Missouri-Kansas City.
Freshman Deng Adel said he was cleared to practice on Sunday after missing eight games with a sprained knee and walk-on Dillon Avare will also be back to practice on Sunday after missing eight games with a stress fracture in his foot.