Thursday, February 7, 2013

UAlbany's Mike Black (and blue)

ALBANY - By the end of the season, Mike Black and Jacob Iati may be able to write a book about their numerous injuries.

Iati drove Black to the SEFCU Arena on Thursday -- the University at Albany guards didn't discuss Black's recently rolled ankle or Iati's arthritic Achilles'.

The two had a lot of time ahead of them to discuss injuries, as the team boarded an evening bus taking them to Maine, a day early due to the impending storm.

“I guess we’ll have a gimp competition, on the way to Maine, on the bus," said Iati, before the Great Danes practice.

Black sprained the ankle in Wednesday's 79-56 victory at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

UAlbany's senior guard only played nine minutes (scored nine points) and was really a non-factor. While he's said to be day-to-day, this quote may hint at Black's status for Saturday's game at Maine.

“If he can play, he’s got to be able to start and he’s got to be able to play heavy minutes," coach Will Brown said.

Brown said the team will prepare as if Black will not play, but they will "play it by ear."

Black hasn't missed any games this season, but he has been taken out of a game because of a hip injury and was slowed in one other game due to food poisoning.

“I thought both games we played well without him," Brown said. "We have played without him, obviously we’re better with him.”

Black will receive round-the-clock treatment from trainer Jay Geiger.

“I’m going to get him as ready as I can," Geiger said.

Geiger said there was a thought of him driving Black home from the game last night, since injuries like an ankle sprain tend to swell with the up-and-down of an airplane, but in the end that wasn't necessary.

Geiger will treat him with a number of different things, including electric treatment, ice, light therapy and he spent time in the whirlpool before the team departed.

Still, Geiger was not totally sure if Black would play, saying everything is a little different on gameday.

The adrenaline -- I wish I had a box of that in the training room," he said.

If Black doesn't play, he would get an additional week to recover, as the Great Danes don't play against until next Saturday (Feb. 16), when they host Hartford.

“Obviously, our best team is with Mike on the floor," Brown said. "But we want to make sure one, he’s healthy enough to play, two, he’s healthy enough where he can make an impact and three, he’s not going to hurt himself any further.”

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