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  1. #11
    Moderator IrishDodger's Avatar
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    Matt Farrell being shut down due to nagging ankle...

    SOUTH BEND – A week away from Atlantic Coast Conference game action was supposed to offer a window to get healthy for the Notre Dame men’s basketball team.

    Yet like this season to date, this week didn’t go exactly as planned for the Irish.

    Senior point guard Matt Farrell will miss at least two games with a bone bruise to his left ankle. Coach Mike Brey made the announcement Thursday afternoon when he met the media in advance of Saturday’s home game against Virginia Tech. Farrell also will miss Monday’s game at No. 4 Duke. He might return a week from Saturday – Feb. 3 - at North Carolina State.

    "We've just got to get him healthy," Brey said. "He just needs time."

    Brey said Farrell will be out indefinitely. He hasn't moved well in practice since returning.

    With a seven day break between games, Notre Dame took all of Sunday and Monday off before returning to work Tuesday morning.

    Farrell was not immediately available for comment. He had not missed a game over his previous three seasons because of injury. He’ll have missed at least five following Thursday’s news. His absence leaves the Irish with eight available scholarship players. The eighth is former walk-on Matt Gregory.

    Already without leading scorer and rebounder Bonzie Colson until early March with a broken left foot, the Irish lose their second leading scorer in Farrell, who was averaging 15.7 points, a team-high 5.2 assists and 2.4 rebounds in 34.9 minutes per game.

    Notre Dame also is without freshman swingman D.J. Harvey. He will miss at least the next three weeks with a bone bruise to his left knee suffered in the Jan. 16 loss to Louisville. He might be back as early North Carolina State next week.

    "I don't think we've ever had it like this," Brey said. "It's been hard for us to handle it."

    The Irish have fielded seven different starting lineups in their first seven ACC games. Saturday might be No. 8 depending on what direction Brey wants to play.

    Farrell suffered a sprained left ankle late in the first half of the Jan. 3 game against North Carolina State.

    “I never had a sprain like that before; it was awful,” Farrell told the Tribune earlier this month. “I knew it right away (that) I wasn’t going to be able to finish that game.”

    Farrell missed the second half of that 30-point victory and the following three games – a win at Syracuse, a loss at Georgia Tech and a home loss to No. 10 North Carolina.

    Treating the ankle injury had Farrell in the training room up to seven hours a day every day for over a week. It was all he could do to get back in the lineup as soon as possible. He just didn’t want to play. He had to play.

    “These are games that I’m not ever going to get back,” Farrell said. “I’m trying to get back as soon as I can. If I’m still hurting a little bit but I can go out and play, I’m going to play.”

    Farrell pushed to play against North Carolina while Brey preached caution. He didn’t want Farrell to return early, not be 100 percent and then reinjure the ankle and miss additional games.

    Farrell returned for the home game against Louisville, and then played 48 of a possible 50 minutes of the double-overtime loss. He scored 23 points with eight assists and two steals. But he made only eight of 25 shots from the floor, including 4-of-14 from 3. After making six of his first nine shots for 15 points in the first seven minutes, Farrell managed eight points on 2-of-16 shooting over the final 41.

    Brey guessed Farrell was about 75-80 percent healthy for Louisville. Farrell declined to put percentages on it afterward.

    “My ankle’s fine,” he said.

    In Saturday’s loss at No. 18 Clemson, Farrell scored a season-low six points with six assists in 32 minutes. He was 2-of-11 from the field, 2-of-10 from 3.

    Farrell is 141 points shy of becoming the 62nd player in program history to score 1,000 in his career.

    Farrell’s absence backs Notre Dame (13-7; 3-4 ACC) further into a corner as it aims to get back to the NCAA tournament for a fourth-straight season. The Irish have lost four-straight league games.

    Notre Dame is 1-4 since Brey became the winningest coach in program history.

    Picked in preseason to finish third in the ACC, Notre Dame enters the final weekend of January tied for ninth in the league with Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Virginia Tech.

  2. #12
    Administrator polishdomer's Avatar
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    He looked off against Louisville and Clemson...man February is going to suck

  3. #13
    Moderator IrishDodger's Avatar
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    Farrell went off today @ BC. He was 10 of 10 from three-point range tying the school record. ND won going away.

    Sounds like Harvey tweaked his knee again in warmups and won’t be available until the postseason.

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