Notre Dame loses Matt Farrell again while preparing to host Virginia Tech
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - It has been a tough couple of weeks for Notre Dame. In the midst of a losing streak, the Irish were rejoined by Matt Farrell for the past two games. While the Irish hope this weekend brings a bounce-back win against Virginia Tech, they learned that Farrell's return would be short-lived.
Irish head coach Mike Brey announced Thursday that the senior point guard will once again be out indefinitely.
Farrell's ankle, which was sprained in the first half against North Carolina State on Jan. 3, has not healed as well as Notre Dame hoped it would. After two games, the Irish noticed he was laboring in practices. A recent MRI revealed that Farrell still had a bone bruise, resulting in the decision to sit him.
"We can't keep massaging it where he's going to be playing at 80 percent the rest of the way," said Brey. "We cannot bring him back until he's healthy. If that means four games or five games, then that's the way it's going to be."
While the ultimate timeframe is to be determined, Brey did say Farrell will certainly miss the next two games, which are at home against Virginia Tech and on the road at Duke - just two days apart.
The injury serves as the latest blow to the Irish, already without star forward Bonzie Colson and freshman wing DJ Harvey.
"I don't think we've ever had it like this," said Brey. "It's been hard for us to handle it, but the group of guys that are healthy continue to scratch and fight. They'll continue to do that. That's who they are."
The remaining players now have to focus on the Hokies, and trying to break a four-game losing streak.
Notre Dame began ACC play atop the standings at 3-0, but have now dipped below the .500 mark. With the game at Purcell Pavilion, the Irish know that opportunities at home are ones they cannot let slip away.
"You get one [win] and you can kind of turn things sometimes," said Brey. "We've been in this situation before. I don't know if we've been in it with this [small number] of bodies, but can we keep this thing around .500 or a little under? If we can't then we're not part of March Madness. It's real, real simple. Our guys know the reality of it."
The game against Virginia Tech is set to tip just after 8 p.m. on Saturday night.