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Is Louisville ever gonna beat the injury bug?


Mike Miller

Louisville can’t shake the injury bug. But it remains to be seen if it derails the Cardinals’ Final Four hopes.

Junior forward Mike Marra tore the ACL in his left knee during Sunday’s win against Lamar, making him roughly the 53rd Cardinals to suffer a serious injury in the last 12 months.

OK, maybe it just seems like 53. Must feel that way to Louisville fans.

The Cardinals were already without freshman wing Wayne Blackshear (torn labrum) until mid-December and forward Rakeem Buckles (knee surgery from last year) until possibly January. Considering Louisville dealt with a season-ending injury to starter Jared Swopshire last year – not to mention eight other players who missed games – and it’s a M*A*S*H* unit down there.

It’s some bad luck for a guy liked by the local press who was a pleasant surprise when everyone else got hurt last year. He averaged 6.2 points and started 11 games. His injury wasn’t pretty either. He collapsed midway through the second half and needed to be carried off the court.

“You heard the screaming, that was the worst part,” Marra said. “It felt like literally my bone came out of the socket and then it popped right back in. It was pretty scary. Once the initial ‘scary’ got over, I calmed down a little bit. I was OK.”

But will Louisville?

Rick Pitino’s team is still loaded and capable of making a run, especially when Blackshear and Buckles – return, but another season of coping with an injury riddled roster must be exhausting. He can make it work. For now.

Another injury -- Peyton Siva or Chane Behanan would be killers – and even Pitino might not be able to coach the Cards through it.

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