By Sydney Fazio
Bruno Fernando already had one ankle injury this season, and against Ohio University he picked up his second—a low right ankle sprain.
The freshman forward, one of Maryland’s top big men, came down awkwardly on his ankle and rolled it in the second half of the game Thursday. The Xfinity Center became eerily quiet—even considering the underwhelming crowd.
Fernando has started four games so far this season, and when active, averages 19.7 minutes a game. The unanimous four-star recruit has been a key player for his physicality and high energy. Fernando averages 5.6 rebounds and has 20 blocks in 10 games.
Sophomore guard Anthony Cowan said Fernando brings energy and toughness to the team.
“He is such a hard worker and doesn’t ever take plays off,” Cowan said. “I have never seen a big-man like him be so vocal. He has a lot of different things he can bring to our team.”
Coach Mark Turgeon said that because it’s a mild ankle sprain, Fernando may not play in the upcoming couple games, but he will most likely recover quickly. He added that this will give other players a chance to get some more playing time.
“Sean (Obi) will get some minutes,” Turgeon said. “You know, we won a lot of games with Ivan (Bender) at the five last year, so Ivan can get some more minutes too, which he deserves.”
Senior center Michal Cekovsky said he and his teammates are prepared for extra minutes.
“Bruno’s a tough guy so I think he’s going to recover. We have great depth on the bench, you know—me, Ivan and Sean. Josh can play too, so I think we will be fine,” Cekovsky said.
Sophomore guard Kevin Huerter said losing a teammate to an injury is never easy, but especially when that teammate brings such good energy to the team.
“Any time someone goes down, I think everyone holds their breath because you never know how serious it’s going to be,” Huerter said. “Losing Bruno, especially for the rest of this game, he brings energy to our team, and the building did get really quiet—but I think he should be okay in the long run.”
In the match-up against Gardner-Webb University on Saturday, Fernando didn’t play so that he could rest his sprained ankle. The Terps take one Catholic University at the Xfinity Center on Tuesday at 7 p.m., and it remains to be decided if he will play.