Is Mackey Renovation Disturbing An Ancient Burial Ground?

I jest...but only sort of. I'm not one to really believe in bad luck or bad karma, etc. And I know lots been made of the rash of ACL tears at Purdue in the past few years, but I don't think there's really anything to find there. Are we really going to suggest our training staff is doing a bad job? No way. These aren't muscle pulls or things that come from poor form with weightlifting, etc. These are flukes... like IU making the title game in '02 or Boilerdowd actually landing the wife he got.

But I will admit things are beginning to get a little silly with the basketball team. I know all teams go through injuries, but these aren't just minor ones, you know? Consider...

Last season, LewJack missed the bulk of the season last year with his foot injury. He came back in February because, let's face it, we all figured that was a Final Four caliber team. And then within about two weeks of Lew blowing his potential redshirt, Rob blows his ACL. Brutal. We all focused on how terrible Rob's injury was for him and the team, but not many thought about the fact that Lewis had rushed himself back in order to be there for the team...and then hopes were dashed. That's big. Think about LewJack only playing as a redshirt sophomore right now. Changes the future outlook a bit, doesn't it?

Obviously, we don't need to rehash the Rob Hummel situation. But we all know what's happened there. Playing his sophomore year with, literally, a broken back. He missed games, as you may recall, and played with that famous back brace, thus beginning the media's love affair with Rob Hummel's injury-riddled body. Then, of course, two straight seasons derailed by his problematic knee.

Now we're on to new players and injuries and it's only early December. As we reported last night on Twitter, John Hart is going to have foot surgery on his fractured foot and will miss, at minimum, 4 to 6 weeks. And, of course, we all know -- if you've ever played sports -- that foot injuries are very tough to come back from. Four to six weeks may be the normal recovery time for the bone to heal, but think about the pressure put on your feet when playing basketball on an unforgiving hardwood floor. I have no source on this, but I'd say we should count on Johnny Hart being out for closer to two months.

And, of course, DJ Byrd rounds out the current injury issues by being original and not having a lower-body injury. DJ was hit by an illegal moving pick against Virginia Tech, where Bob Knight intimating he could have just "walked around it." Yes, Knight, except that he was chasing his man and the Va Tech player stepped into his path. That is a textbook illegal moving pick. It wasn't called and now DJ Byrd hasn't practiced since and simply can't shoot. It's being termed a "sprain" (though it's hard to "sprain" a shoulder), which is definitely better than a separation. Again, no source here, but if he's having trouble lifting it to the point where he can't shoot or practice... I'd say it might actually be a mild or minor separation, and it's just not being reported as such. I'm a veteran of injuries, as you might be able to tell, including the shoulder.

I've seen some optimistic responses to the Hart injury, in that Ryne Smith and others will need to step up now. And while I think that's great that you guys are optimistic, I can't help but feel more snakebitten than ever. It's nice to overcome challenges and leap hurdles, but hasn't this team had enough obstacles put in front of it? Losing a potential all-American...having to hear about it every damn day for the whole season from the media...facing an absolutely brutal conference schedule this year. I don't know about you, but I've seen enough adversity. If and when this team makes the Final Four, it will be more of a journey than most go through. And while I'm biased, I don't mind saying that with conviction.

Next up, Valpo at 9 PM tomorrow night.

Let's get crazy.

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