UCONN's Shabazz Napier had gone 102 games without missing, playing through foot and shoulder injuries.
That streak came to an end on Saturday when the pain in his foot made playing unthinkable.
"I woke up today and I didn't feel 100 percent or close to it, so I just told myself I wasn't going to play. I knew I couldn't play basketball today," said Napier, who watched Saturday's 61-55 loss to Cincinnati from the sidelines.
Napier's foot had been a problem most of last year and caused him to withdraw from the Puerto Rico team in the Olympics. He had surgery to correct a stress fracture, but the pounding up and down the court this season reinjured the bone. He reaggravated the injury in the game against Georgetown and did not practice last Friday. The team doctors are calling it a sprain.
Napier was ruled out 15 minutes before start time. Beforehand, he had been in a walking boot when he entered the arena, but never went out on the court. He received treatment and did exercises before the game.
"I still did treatment," said Napier. "I can play the next game, get ready for the next game. It was so difficult. One thing I don't like to do, I don't like to miss games. I've fought through a whole bunch of injuries, but this was one I couldn't do."
Napier pondered "getting ready at halftime," but he never made it out there.
"It was a game-time decision," said coach Kevin Ollie. "We went down there to the locker room and he couldn't play. We were already prepared for it. We practiced without him yesterday, Shabazz is going to get back, he's going to get back healthy and hopefully fight for us over these last two games. If not, everybody's going to have to step up."
Napier has averaged 17.1 points per game and while the team had 15 turnovers on Saturday, Ollie says they've had more in some games when Napier's handled the ball.
Reference: Hartford Courant.
If you are a basketball player and have a foot problem, call our Newington, Kensington, or Middletown office to make an appointment.
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Medicine Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Newington
Visit our website, friend and like our page on Facebook, and follow our tweets on Twitter.