"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Monday, March 12, 2007

Jerel McNeal Injury Update

Here's a post for the (literally) hundreds of you who have found Cracked Sidewalks while Googling on "Jerel McNeal injury" or similar.

What is Jerel McNeal's status? There is some Internet buzz out there which claims that Jerel McNeal is done for the year. If you keep looking, some even claim he had surgery on his injured thumb.

Want more? MU has its own crack staff of online physical therapists and physicians evaluating McNeal. Free medical advice via message boards, good for him!

There's no shortage of negativity on his prognosis. Heck, Tom Crean effectively said that McNeal was done for at least this week in the coverage we saw earlier today.

And there's plenty more to go 'round. Anonymous tips, 'people in the know', et al.

Bottom line? We think McNeal is done for the year, at least as an effective contributor for Marquette. Sure MU is doing its best to rehab McNeal in hopes that he'll recover from the right thumb injury quickly enough to play again -- but after missing practice for nearly two weeks, a return to good health in time to help this team is unlikely.

Maybe MU is sandbagging everybody on this - - don't forget that last season Wesley Matthews returned from a stress fracture earlier than anticipated. Of course, it took Wesley more than a few games to regain his early-season form once he returned -- so it's only logical that McNeal would endure a similar recovery, particularly since he injured his right (shooting) thumb -- a hand that was still splinted (at least) at the Big East tourney a few days ago.

Could there be a Willis Reed Moment for MU? Perhaps, but remember that Reed's 'moment' (all of 4 points in fifteen minutes) is only notable because Walt Frazier delivered one of the greatest playoff performances in NBA history -- 36 points, 19 assists and five steals in Game 7 of the 1970 NBA Finals.

Moral of the story? Somebody else better step up for MU. We hope we're wrong, we really do..........but we think he's done (at least as the player he was earlier this season).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, the surgery comment was really a new one. I agree that he's done as an offensive contributer unless he gets minutes Thursday and we make it all the way to the Final Four. But it should only take a couple days of practice to get his defense back up to speed. He's a tough kid and if he thinks he can go and play 15 minutes primarily as a defender I'd hate to be the one to tell him his next game is going to be in November, especially if Neitzel ends up lighting us up on Thursday.