When the UMaine women’s basketball team next plays at home on Jan. 13, senior star Cindy Blodgett may not be in the lineup. But Blodgett should be back by the time the Bears return again to Alfond Arena in Orono on Jan. 29.
In the Bears’ win over Boston University at the Alfond Friday night, Blodgett aggravated an injury in her foot that has hampered her for the past four months. The condition Blodgett suffers from, called plantar fasciitis, is caused by an inflammed sheet of tissue in the bottom of her foot.
Maine coach Joanne Palombo-McCallie said Sunday Blodgett’s injury had already greatly improved. After leaving Alfond on crutches Friday night, Blodgett was free of them by Sunday.
However, Blodgett will not practice today and remains tentative for Maine’s game at Towson State (Maryland) on Thursday.
“Cindy has a tremendous high threshold. We’ll take it day-by-day,” Palombo said.
“Now that this has happened, it’s a good thing. It will alleviate the pressure. I’m not a doctor, but with plantar fasciitis, they go in surgery to cut it lose. In essense, it’s done that by itself. It snapped or broke, I don’t know the right word, and that seemed to have stretched it and loosened it up.”
Blodgett, the nation’s leading scorer the past two years, is averaging 29.4 points per game and was on pace to become the all-time leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball history.
Palombo did not think there was even a remote chance that Blodgett would miss the rest of the season.
“Oooh, no. I don’t want to go there,” Palombo said. “We’ll see how it gets better.”
The best Blodgett scenario, Palombo said, is that the point guard will play on Thursday, although Palombo said the chance of that was slim.
The worst case scenario, according to the Bears’ coach, is that Blodgett will be out for one to two weeks to allow the inflamed tissue to heal.
Even if Blodgett missed the next four games, Palombo does not think the hiatus would affect Blodgett’s chances of being selected a first-team All-American, an honor that has alluded the senior so far.
“I think Cindy is a proven player. I’m not worried about those kinds of things,” Palombo said. “All I can do is support Cindy and go by what the doctors say.”
Blodgett’s injury did come at an unforunate time in that Friday USA Today reporter Dick Patrick was at the Boston University game working on a cover Yet, while Blodgett missed a chance to dazzle the national media with the kind of game she had against the University of Massachusetts (40 points), Palombo said Blodgett’s credentials will provide for an impressive story nonetheless.
“I understand [USA Today is] going to take a much more holistic point of view,” Palombo said. “When a player is injured, it’s different from their standpoint. But they are very familiar with Cindy. She’s a person whose talent they recognized a long time ago. They have been making plans to come and see her. What they’re doing goes much beyond one game.”
Blodgett could not be reached for comment.