Injury Sidelines Commitment

One of West Virginia's basketball signees in the Class of 2005 has missed several games due to injury, but hopes to be back on the court within the next couple of weeks.

Alex Ruoff. a six-foot five-inch swingman from Central High School in Brroksville, Fla., had been lighting it up before spraining his left ankle in December.

"I got a high ankle sprain on my left ankle," Ruoff told "I just came down and landed on someone's foot."

"I had an MRI on Monday, and it was negative. they thought there might have been a fracture or something torn, but it turned out to be just a bad sprain.

After being cleared by the MRI, Ruoff began rehabilitating the injury, and hopes to return to the floor soon.

"We have a game on Tuesday, and I'll probably miss that, and then we have a two-game tournament that I may miss also, but I hope to be back right after that," said the West Virginia signee.

In addition to many Mountaineer fans who hope to see him back to full health, Ruoff also has a number of hgh school fans waiting anxiously for his return. After leading his team to a 5-1 start, Ruoff went down with the ankle sprain, and Central promptly lost its next seven starts, no doubt missing his 30 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists per game.

"We've had a couple of guys try to step it up, but maybe in the long run this will help a little bit," said Ruoff, who is admittedly very frustrated with missing time during his senior year. "I think some of them will develop some more confidence, which might help during the playoffs. That's when the games matter most.

"This is just as bad as it gets frustration-wise," he acknowldeged. "It's really hard to just sit there and watch."

Ruoff, who often draws the opposing team's best player on defense, has played both on the perimeter and in the paint this year. As Central's tallest player, he has no problem mixing it up in the paint, as his 11 boards per game attest, but is also comfortable on the wing. He anticipates no lasting ill-efects from the sprain, and is looking forward to helping lead his team into the playoffs in March.

Mountaineers Daily Top Stories