Clearing Hurdles

West Virginia junior college transfer Dominique Rutledge has faced two big challenges over the summer.

Dominique Rutledge's move to West Virginia has been delayed by a pair of issues, one academic and one physical. He's wrapped up the former and is in the midst of rehabbing the latter, and is set to soon join his new teammates on campus.

"I had one class that I had to finish, and the last day in it was last week," Rutledge told "I have everything done now, so I will be heading out to West Virginia this weekend. My first class there starts on Monday."

While Rutledge looks to have all things academic in order, he still has a bit of work to do on the physical side, although he has cleared the highest hurdle.

"I had a little bit of cartilage damage in a knee, and I got that cleaned up," he said. "It wasn't a big deal. I'm rehabbing it now, and strengthening it. It won't affect me in the long run."

Rutledge hasn't been cleared to return to full action yet, but he is performing a range of exercises, and hopes to get back on the court within 3-6 weeks. That might affect his ability to play when the basketball team goes overseas in August, but he does expect to make that trip.

"I should be enrolled and get that class in so I can go," he said. "And I should be ready to go by the start of fall practice. It has been tough with not being there [through the summer] and with not being able to play, but I'm getting past that. It's just a matter of time before I get back out on the court and do what I can do."

Rutledge could be a valuable addition to the front court roster West Virginia will wield this year. With Aaric Murray sitting out his transfer season, the Mountaineers will rely on Deniz Kilicli, Kevin Jones and Kevin Noreen as rebounders and interior defenders in the early going. The older Rutledge, who has a good wingspan and a more developed frame, could make that trio into a much more solid quartet.

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