ORONO – Cindy Blodgett will not be in uniform Tuesday when the University of Maine women’s basketball team plays Hartford in a 7:30 p.m. America East game at Alfond Arena.
The Black Bears’ senior sensation, who has been sidelined for 10 days with a foot condition called plantar fasciitis, is now eyeing Saturday’s game at New Hampshire.
Blodgett did not participate in Monday’s practice at Lengyel Gym on the south end of campus. The team was relegated to the alternate site because Memorial Gym is being used as a shelter for local residents who remain without electrical service after the storm.
Coach Joanne Palombo-McCallie said because Blodgett wasn’t expected to be ready for Tuesday’s game, she sat out Monday’s workout to undergo her usual rehabilitation regimen in the Memorial Gym training room.
“Cindy was rehabbing today,” Palombo said. “We pretty much understood that she would not play [Tuesday], just because of how the weekend went and to give her additional rest and head into the end of the week with more opportunity.
“She’s trying to work her way into certain elements that are more difficult, the straightaway running and some of the things that are more painful for her right now.”
Palombo explained Katie Clark also will miss Tuesday’s contest. Clark, a sophomore forward, is suffering from a sore heel that limited her to nine minutes in Saturday’s victory at Delaware.
Blodgett felt a painful snap in her left arch during Maine’s Jan. 2 game against Boston University. Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury characterized by the inflammation of the connective tissue joining the heel to the base of the toes.
Blodgett, the No. 2 scorer in the country at 27.9 points per game, has missed the last two games after playing 101 straight contests for the Bears. She also is averaging 6.0 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 1.3 steals.
Palombo stressed Blodgett won’t be rushed back into the lineup.
“Could she play? Yeah, she could play, but maybe she’d only be at 60 percent and by playing she might drop back a little bit,” Palombo said. “We’re trying to be as patient as we can be to give her the best chance to be at full strength.”
Senior co-captain Sandi Carver is proud of the way the team has responded in Blodgett’s absence.
“I think we have the confidence that we can go out and do it, no matter who we’re missing. The team is strong and we have confidence in ourselves,” Carver said.
“Obviously, we can’t wait for Cindy to come back,” she added. “We’re definitely missing a lot not having her on the court, because Cindy brings a lot to the floor.”
Carver has lent her friend and teammate a sympathetic ear as Blodgett deals with the frustration and disappointment of not being able to play.
“We talk every day,” Carver said. “She might comment on, `I kind of feel out of the loop’ or whatever, so we try to keep each other going.”
Palombo said Clark will undergo a bone scan on the heel Tuesday to determine the severity of the injury.
“She had a lot of pain this weekend in that heel, so that’s kind of what set it off,” Palombo said. “She didn’t look herself on the court.”
The injury may be related to the chronic foot problems Clark has experienced previously. She underwent surgery last spring to correct a painful congenital condition.
UMaine’s injury woes appear to be improving gradually on other fronts. Junior forward Kelly Bowman of Newport and freshman forward Jessica Lawson of Aylmer, Quebec, continue to work their way back from injuries.
Bowman, who traveled with the team last week, is again practicing at full speed. Last December, she underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.
However, Bowman suffered a subsequent stress fracture that kept her sidelined until last week.
Lawson, a 6-2 post player, practiced on a limited basis Monday. She has bounced back well from October knee surgery, but had a setback recently after slipping on the ice and reaggravating the knee.