It was only a matter of time. Every team in the Big Ten had dealt with some sort of injury except Penn State. Granted Sasa will be quick to point out he’s wheeling around courtside, but in regards players on the roster that were contributing important minutes, the Nittany Lions have escaped unscathed.
Headed into the final 5 minutes of the first half against Illinois last night Penn State’s luck finally ran out as Jeff Brooks laid on the floor in pain clutching his shoulder. As Brooks was escorted off the court by the Penn State medical staff anyone watching the Big Ten network got to look at the inner workings of Brooks’ shoulder as it was still dislocated. The actual contact that caused this injury is unknown, but it occurred in a loose ball scrum for a rebound. It wasn’t a particularly physical play which made the injury surprising, but like Jamelle Cornley’s shoulder injury in 2009 it doesn’t always take violent contact to hurt a shoulder.
Brooks was seen on the bench after halftime with an ice pack strapped to the shoulder, he will have an MRI done Wednesday to see the extent of the injury.
David Jones of PennLive.com had this to add:
I texted PSU’s director of sports medicine Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli to ask about rehab time for such an injury in general and not Brooks’ case in particular. Sebastianelli was not with the team. He responded:
“Real variable but usually at least two weeks or more. Previous injury, bone contusions, tendon injury all add to the time out from the ligament problem.”
As Jones noted later in his article Sebastianelli’s input on the injury was not while he was with the team and that any diagnosis of Brooks’ injury could lead to a higher or lower time for recovery. Sebastinelli’s statement was purely general and non-specific to the situation.
Overall this injury is obviously untimely as Brooks’ is Penn State’s second leading scorer and one of their most consistent players. Penn State’s ability to find scoring came from their balance on offense that Brooks’ helped provide. Some sources believe that Brooks could be back in time for Penn State’s matchup with Michigan this Sunday, although it seems more likely that he would be back for the Nittany Lion’s trip to Michigan State at the earliest.
Either way, Penn State will need to find an answer to their struggles along the baseline in a hurry.