Copyright by Global Electronic Telecommunications, publishers of IrishEyes
December 6, 2001
By Alan Tieuli
The IrishEyes.Com NewsService
(IE) On the verge of establishing himself as one of the finest low-post players in the country, Ryan Humphrey is headed to the sidelines again.
Notre Dame mens basketball coach Mike Brey announced this morning that Humphrey is suffering from a stress reaction below the knee in his left leg. It was emphasized that this is not a stress fracture.
Humphrey will follow a two-week fitness regiment that will consist of riding a stationary bike, swimming and other strength work. Notre Dame basketball sports information director Bernadette Cafarelli said that the 6-9 junior will definitely miss this Saturdays game at Miami (Ohio) and the Dec. 22 affair at Canisius in Buffalo.
Hell be re-evaluated after Christmas, Cafarelli said, and hell probably be out for Alabama (Dec. 27 in New Orleans). Youre probably looking at Colgate (for his return).
The 6-8, 235-pound Tulsa, Oklahoma product was off to an outstanding start. Through six games he was averaging 23.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and nearly four blocks a game. His stats were matched equally by his on-court charisma, a large smile usually accompanying his blocked shots and frequent dunks. He seemed very comfortable in assuming the leadership role for the Irish.
In a conference call with reporters Thursday morning, Brey said Humphreys injury dated back to the conclusion of the Hawaii Pacific Tournament on Nov. 25. Humphreys bio does not indicate any similar injuries.
With Humphrey sidelined, Jere Macura will start Saturday at Miami and there will be minutes available for Jordan Cornette, a DNP-Coachs Decision against Indiana.
Humphrey, of course, missed the first two games of this season with an NCAA-imposed suspension for illegal participation in a summer league. He missed one game last season and sat out the entire 1999-2000 campaign after transferring from Oklahoma.
While its unfortunate that Humphrey has to miss any games, the timing of this injury is good. The Irish have two full weeks off between the Miami and Canisius games and will be heavy favorites to win both even though they are on the road. If Humphreys rehabilitation goes well, he should be fine for the Irish Big East Conference opener on Jan. 6 versus Villanova.
Humphrey played in visible pain Tuesday at Indiana, still managing to score 23 points with 12 rebounds and an astounding six blocked shots, numbers even more astounding when you take into consideration how painful a shin injury is to a hoops player.
Ironically, Troy Murphy competed in the Indiana game last year with a swollen ankle that dramatically affected his game. Brey said earlier this week, Looking back, Troy probably shouldnt have played.
(Alan Tieuli is the Managing Editor of IrishEyes and can be reached at email@example.com)