Virginia senior forward Mike Scott missed yet another game this season due to an aggravated ankle injury. This is the fourth game that the tri-captain has missed this season, beginning just after he had put up five consecutive double-doubles.
The Chesapeake, Va. native had arthroscopic surgery on his ankle after an MRI revealed loose cartilage that required surgical removal. Six days following the procedure, Scott was back in against Seattle, where he had 12 points and 8 rebounds. After the break for Christmas, he continued to practice without troubles, until one practice when his ankle locked back up again. Another MRI revealed a set back which may require another procedure.
"We're really trying to gather information and do the best things to get him as healthy as possible and give him the best chance," Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said. "I know it's frustrating for Mike, especially having the surgery, it looked good and then now seeing that. We're in a little bit of a holding pattern until we see how things respond, but we're doing everything we can to get him to where he can perform at a high level."
Scott averages 15.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, and has scored in double figures in all but one game this season.
At this point, Scott is still eligible for a medical hardship, should the coaches decide to go down that route. Under NCAA rules, a player is allowed to apply for a medical redshirt if he has only played in the first half of the season, and has not participated in more than 30% of the season. Scott has played in 10 games this season. Virginia has 30 regular season games scheduled, plus at least the first round of the ACC Tournament (the exhibition game does not count towards the number of games played nor the number of games in the season), making the 30% threshold mark to be 11 games. If he plays one more, he will have exceeded this threshold. However, medical hardships are granted at the end of the year and the percentage calculate is based on the total number of games played - this means that if the Cavaliers advance in the ACC Tournament or play in a post-season tournament, it is possible the Scott could play another game and still be under the threshold.
It's a conversation that Bennett is not yet ready to have, though.
"We're in such a delicate spot where he's at, depending upon what has to take place next with his ankle and where we're at and how long things would be. We're trying to get him back to full strength but it has been talked about briefly, but that's only if he can't get back to playing at a high level or 100%, that's the only way that would happen."
Bennett also said that, despite the injuries that have plagued the team this season, the redshirt on forward James Johnson Right is "pretty set in stone."
"Nothing's out of the realm, ...but I think that's a direction we've decided to take with James just as far as development and things like that. And now being 14 games in, we're in a pretty good chunk. So much depends, obviously the Mike issue is one, but we're down the road. So, I would tend to say that's probably not an option."