by Abigail Bentz
With two games left in their lengthy season, the Maryland men’s basketball team has experienced wear and tear.
The coaching staff and athletes emphasize injury prevention during the off-season with extensive rehab and prehab, but the Terps have had an unlucky year of injuries. To close out, the team will be without starting center Michal Cekovsky for the remainder of the season, head coach Mark Turgeon said in a press release on Feb. 20.
Cekovsky fractured his ankle against Wisconsin on Feb. 19 and is expected to have surgery soon. Cekovsky, however, is no stranger to injuries. In August, he suffered a hamstring injury, forcing him to miss 10 weeks of preseason practice. He then had to deal with foot and ankle injuries, which left him absent from 10 games at the beginning of the season.
“I feel badly for Ceko as he has endured a number of injuries throughout the season,” Turgeon said. “It felt like he was really starting to turn the corner and his best basketball was ahead of him. We anticipate a full recovery for next season, and we will be there to support him through the rehabilitation process.”
Cekovsky was able to return to the lineup from his previous injuries in late January. Before his ankle injury, he had played in 17 games and averaged a career-high 7.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. He posted 10 points against Wisconsin prior to his injury, which occurred with less than four minutes to go in the second half.
Senior Damonte Dodd will now play in Cekovsky’s place, among freshman Justin Jackson and sophomore Ivan Bender in the starting lineup.
Dodd is averaging 6.3 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game this season but has also had his share of injuries. Dodd sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during practice in early December. He then suffered from a concussion and missed even more time.
Other injuries on the team include sophomore guard Dion Wiley, who missed all of last season with a torn meniscus and sat out with a stomach virus during the game against Towson, and sophomore forward Ivan Bender, who also played through a fractured left wrist early this season.
The Terps will play Rutgers and Michigan State to complete their season and will enter March with aspirations of a deep postseason run.