By Astrid Poei
Rams basketball leading scorer and top Canadian player Errol Fraser is out with an injury.
The Ryerson lifeline hurt his right knee in the first six minutes of their first game against the Universite du Quebec a Montreal in the ED DeArmon Tournament on Dec. 28.
After stealing the ball and driving down the court, Fraser went for a lay up when he landed awkwardly and hyperextended his right leg. He fell to the ground and play was stopped as trainers attended to the injured athlete.
Since the injury, Fraser hasn’t put much pressure on his leg but has attended physiotherapy every day.
Fraser suspects that it is either an MCL or an ACL injury. If his MCL is affected, he could recover as early as February. But if it is his ACL, Fraser will require surgery and will be out for the season.
“I really don’t know about it because I haven’t got my MRI back,” he says.
This comes as a definite blow to the team, says head coach Patrick Williams.
“It affects us greatly,” says Williams. “When you consider that you have the number one scorer in the conference and the second leading scorer in the country, you’re missing 23.5 points a game.”
Despite the injury, assistant coach O’Neil Kamaka remains optimistic that Fraser will recover quickly.
“There’s a possibility he might return by February because if it’s an MCL he can come back with a brace because it’s the same injury that happened to Mark (Ibrahimovic) and he came back in three weeks with a brace,” says Kamaka.
Despite the set back, Fraser will continue to support his teammates by attending practices and games, even if only as a spectator.
“I will be out there every day,” he says.
With Fraser out of the line up, the Rams will look to Ibrahimovic, Vladimir Matevski and Shae Frattura to lead the ailing squad that has yet to record its first win during league play.
After Fraser went down with the injury and in the absence of rock Vladimir Matevski, the Rams rallied to defeat the UQAM Citadins 77-79 for their first win of the season.
“I think they realized without him that they all had to step up,” says Kamaka.
“Hopefully all the guys will raise their level of play.”
With the score tied at 77, Rams rookie Veltmann was sent to the line and nudged Ryerson ahead of UQAM with two clutch shots. Unfortunately, the Rams could not fight the onslaught for long and they lost to the Waterloo Warriors 80-42 and the Universite Laval Rouge et Or 65-55.
Kamaka was particularly proud of the way his team handled themselves against the Rouge et Or because of their top ranking in the CIAU.
Although the win against the Citadins does not count for league play, it was definitely a rally cry for Ryerson’s hurting bleu-et-or.
“We played very well and we are very confident that our guys will come out playing hard,” says Kamaka.
Friday, the Rams travel to Guelph where they face the Gryphons.