Dorenzo Hudson will play vs. N.C. State
UPDATED | 6:45 p.m. Virginia Tech guard Dorenzo Hudson, who has a stress-related foot injury, will play in the Hokies' meeting with North Carolina State on Wednesday night, according to trainer Chad Hyatt.
In a brief telephone interview on Wednesday afternoon, Hyatt described the injury as a stress-related bone bruise in Hudson's right foot. Hyatt said it was not a fracture but said pain flares up in Hudson's foot while he is active. Later, in an exchange at Cassell Coliseum, Hyatt marveled at the Hudson's pain tolerance and said he would be available to play.
In an effort to protect the foot, which has been injured most of the season, Hudson has been fitted with an orthotic brace in his sneaker. That brace was reinforced this week, as the pain in Hudson's foot worsened.
Hudson initially injured his right foot in the Hokies' loss at Florida State on Jan. 16 and re-aggravated the injury in a win at Virginia on Jan. 28. In the weeks since then, he has been limited in practice and has occasionally worn a walking boot.
But Hudson seems to be in more discomfort recently. In Virginia Tech's double-overtime loss to Maryland on Feb. 27, Hudson briefly left the court to get an X-ray exam. The results were negative and Hudson returned, scoring 21 points in 45 minutes.
Although Hudson's productivity has not been limited because of the injury, his momentary absence from the Terrapins game was the most significant sign of how much it has bothered him.
The development that Hudson would play against N.C. State -- he was initially a game-time decision -- came as good news for Virginia Tech. But if Hudson cannot play later on this season because of the injury, it will issue a huge blow to the Hokies as they make a push for the NCAA tournament.
Hudson has blossomed this season as a leader, on and off the court, for Virginia Tech. He is Virginia Tech's second-leading scorer (14.2 points per game) and second in terms of minutes played (34.6 minutes per game) behind Malcolm Delaney. An adept shooter, Hudson, who has started all 28 games this season, has been an important secondary scorer to take some of the heat off Delaney, who leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in scoring (20.4 points per game).
As one of the ACC's leading scorers in conference games, Hudson has been one of the biggest reason's for Virginia Tech's emergence as an NCAA tournament bubble team. And he has been a valuable team leader coming out of timeouts and in the locker room.
Virginia Tech finishes up against Georgia Tech on Saturday and is fighting for an NCAA tournament at-large bid and cannot afford to slip up. But if Hudson cannot play, or can only play in a limited role with his injury, it will dim the outlook of Virginia Tech's hopes of making the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2007.
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