Over the weekend, a seemingly innocuous interview between Alex Len and Grantland’s duo of Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose became a big deal when Len said that he played “half of the season” hurt and that Maryland didn’t do an MRI on his ankle until after the season was over.
That would have been a problem. A school ignoring a player’s injury to try and win NIT games is not a good look.
But a Maryland spokesperson told NBCSports.com that Len had x-rays in March that came back negative and that he was held out of practice for the final month or so of the season. His injury didn’t become severe until after the season had ended. Mark Turgeon reiterated this point in a conversation with a Maryland beat writer this week.
And now Len himself is trying to downplay the hullaballoo surrounding his injury, making it clear enough to Dan Feldman of ProBasketballTalk that he has no problem with how his injury was handled:
“A stress fracture is hard to discover sometimes,” Len said. “Because we did x-rays when it started hurting, but the doctor didn’t see anything. Sometimes, you can’t see anything. It just shows up after two months.”
Stress fractures are hard to find.
And Maryland did do an x-ray and they began treatment when he started complaining about his injury.
And they also held him out of practice afterwards.
Maybe this was all blown out of proportion in the first place?
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.