Men’s Basketball: Coble, Ryan knocked out for season

Danny Daly and Danny Daly

Updated Nov. 16, 11:55 p.m.

Monday morning’s meeting with a second foot specialist made it official: Star senior Kevin Coble will not suit up for Northwestern this season, the athletic department said. That came on the heels of the announcement that wing Jeff Ryan will miss his senior year with a torn ACL, and senior guard Jeremy Nash’s disclosure that he is suffering from irregular breathing.

The Wildcats’ leading scorer and rebounder each of the last three years, Coble opted for surgery to repair a mild Lisfranc fracture in his left foot, which happened last Tuesday at practice as he jumped for a rebound. According to the Web site for the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Lisfranc breaks occur at the arch on top of the midfoot, affecting a group of small bones.

“I just felt a pop in my foot when I went up,” Coble said to the media before Friday night’s season opener. “It was really something I’d never felt before.”

Team doctors and one specialist had already looked at the injury and diagnosed it, informing Coble surgery was a possibility.

There will be a four-month recovery period after the surgery, during which Coble cannot do any basketball-related activities. The rehabilitation process will start after.

Even if the foot could have healed on its own, the best-case scenario for Coble would have been to return in mid-January. Coble seemed open to the idea of redshirting and coming back next season after surgery.

“Absolutely, if that’s what ends up happening and needing to be done,” he said.While the injury does give other players a chance to step up and get more playing time, Carmody said he would much rather be battling in the Big Ten this year with his best player.

“There’s this new book out by Barbara Ehrenreich (“Bright-Sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America”), and she says forget about that happiness and opportunity for guys,” Carmody said. “I want him out there.”

Then, just when it seemed like things couldn’t get worse for the Cats, they got hit with even more bad news.

Senior guard Jeremy Nash, who led NU with 20 points in the season opener against Northern Illinois, has been having recurring breathing problems and was sidelined for almost all of Monday’s practice.

“My breathing was a little bit heavier than usual, so the trainer told me to stay out of most of the things just to let it calm back down,” Nash said.

He has worn a heart monitor the past two-and-a-half weeks, even during games, so the doctors can track it. Occasionally the monitor causes discomfort, and Nash said he has to readjust it during stoppages.

It doesn’t appear to be too serious right now, and junior guard Michael Thompson said he expects “Jeremy will be back for (Wednesday’s) game, definitely.” In the meantime, NU is left without any of its three scholarship seniors on the floor.

“It’s all scary, like with Jeff going down in the game,” Nash said. “It’s really taken a toll. But I think the guys are handling it well, going out and practicing hard, not shying away from going to the basket.”

Ryan collapsed on the court, holding his left knee, with 1:35 remaining in the first half against the Huskies.

Nash said he has previously experienced these breathing issues “in spurts,” and his heartbeat sometimes accelerates too quickly after running drills that involve constant starting and stopping. He hoped to return to normal practice Tuesday.

[email protected]