Wednesday, December 15, 2010

FAB MELO Injury Update

Back on December 6th, the Post Standard first broke the story that Fab Melo had been battling an Achilles tendon injury for a couple weeks. Well, it turns out that wasn't entirely correct.

Tonight, word comes down that it wasn't his Achilles tendon that was injured. In fact, he has a muscle tear in his right calf. "It's been there for like two weeks" according to Fab Melo. He thought it was his Achilles, but it turned out to be more than that.

Melo says the pain isn't too bad, however when he exercises "it hurts really bad." Not great news for Fab Melo, but perhaps it explains his generally poor play through the first 10 games of the season.

Jim Boeheim told reporters "We're going to rest him. He's going to shoot around tomorrow [Thursday] and practice Friday. And if he feels good, he'll play Saturday. If he doesn't, he won't."

The game in question is this Saturday night at 7PM against the Iona Gaels. Iona (7-3) is out of the MAC conference and have won seven straight games after dropping the first three. There is no reason to rush Fab Melo back, especially when he is averaging only 12.7 minutes per game.

Without Fab Melo in the lineup, there would be no true center backup for freshman Baye Moussa Keita, who is averaging 20.5 minutes per game. Rick Jackson has played some center this season when the young centers have gotten into early foul trouble, however he has been so dominant as the power forward it would be a shame to shift him out of his regular position.

Melo is averaging just 2.1 points and 2.2 rebounds per game and is shooting 47.4% from the floor. He is an even more shocking 23.1% from the foul line. Those numbers from the charity stripe make even Arinze Onuaku blush.

Fab Melo's best performance came against Cornell on November 30th, when he had a season high 8 points and 7 rebounds and 4 blocks in 22 minutes of action. He was limited to just 6 minutes Saturday night against Colgate due to the injury.

What's important right now is that the team gets rested and healthy for the Big East opener on December 28th against Providence. Syracuse needs Fab Melo as close to 100% as possible by that date, and if that means sitting out non-conference home games against Iona, Morgan State and/or Drexel than so be it.

While none of those teams are push-overs, the Orangemen need two healthy centers for the when the gauntlet of the conference schedule begins. Stay tuned to The Cuse Connection for more information.

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