Injuries And Depth
The Terps learned Friday that for the second time this month they had lost a post player to a foot injury. Freshman forward Steve Goins missed Saturday's game with what he described as pain on the outside of his left ankle.
Apparently, the pain has been there for the past two months but has intensified in the past week. Goins underwent his second MRI exam in three weeks on Friday afternoon, though as of Saturday afternoon the results of that second exam had not yet returned. Goins said the initial diagnosis was a stress fracture, though the MRI results could change that.
"Its just been getting worse, the more I played on it," Goins said. "It just started flaring up. I was just playing through it, and it just got worse. Now it’s, like, hard for me to put pressure on it. It’s a sharp pain. I can’t push down on it."
Sophomore forward Jerome Burney suffered a stress fracture in his right foot Dec. 9 and was expected to sit out 3-6 weeks. He, too, was in street clothes during yesterday's game.
In the absence of Burney and Goins, Maryland's frontcourt will be even more depth-stricken than it already was heading into the season at full health. Burney was starting to show some improvement before he went down, so the Terps likely will miss his services more. However, even though Goins averaged only 3.0 minutes per game, he provided Williams with, if nothing else, another body, another option.
Maryland's list of active players now has been trimmed to 11. The Terps won't necessarily be handicapped by that number, but they could be hampered in terms of development. December contests -- and even the first few in January -- often offer more opportunities for reserves to get playing time than they will find once conference play begins.
Though it remains unknown how long Goins will be out, it is hard to envision him getting much more than scrap minutes -- which essentially was what he was getting anyways -- the rest of the season. As for Burney, he might be able to play his way back to the fringe of the rotation, but Williams has stated his desire to operate with eight or nine guys on many occassions. Right now, those three to four spots appear to be filled (by Braxton Dupree, Cliff Tucker, Sean Mosley and Dino Gregory), which might mean Burney gets left out, regardless of whether he returns to health.
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