Sophomore point guard Chris Hernandez just became redshirt freshman point guard Chris Hernandez, after his foot injury in the Montana game ended his season. Hernandez was moving laterally on perimeter defense in the second half of Monday night's Montana game when he came down awkwardly on his left foot. He heard a snap and immediately felt a rush of pain, then hopping up and down on his right foot. He immediately left the game and was soon taken to the Stanford Medical Center for x-rays.
The results Monday night plus a CT scan taken Tuesday morning revealed what everyone in the Stanford family feared - a break. And though most observers surmised that he had reinjured the same break in his fifth metatarsal bone in that left foot, the placement of this fracture was a surprise. It indeed was that fifth metatarsal, but incredibly broke in a different spot in the same bone. The movement that Hernandez induced at that moment on the floor stressed his bone, but the part that he broke in late October actually held with the screws placed there from the surgery. Another spot away from a screw fractured. Orthopedic surgeon Michael Dillingham has referred to this injury as the most "freak" incident he has seen in some 20 years.
Incredibly, an already snake-bitten Stanford squad just took two venomous fangs right to the jugular. And for Chris Hernandez, lightning has struck him twice - in the same bone... in different places... in less than two months.
The second year point guard will be out the remainder of the season and will take a medical redshirt. There will be no surgery this time, and the break will be allowed to heal naturally. On that timeline, Hernandez will stay on crutches for the next six weeks. Then he will still wear the boot on his left foot for some time, and not be allowed to run until April.
The reaction to this injury for a universally loved young man is one of shock and deep sympathy within the program. Though every man on the roster wanted Hernandez back to help the team play at a higher level, their personal disappointment for him is deep. "I was just sick," says head coach Mike Montgomery of his reaction to his point guard's injury. "I can't even express just how hard I feel for him."