The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Sports

January 6, 2009

Injuries taking their toll on Herd

The deja vu effect has not escaped Marshall coach Donnie Jones.

This time a year ago, a litany of injuries was depleting Jones’ roster and robbing the Thundering Herd of what had looked like a promising season.

Now, it’s happening again, with the same player right in the middle of it all.

As Marshall prepares to open Conference USA play Wednesday at defending league champion Memphis, it may be without the services of senior Markel Humphrey. The guard/forward from Atlanta has been playing most of the season with a severe stress fracture in his left foot.

The injury kept Humphrey out of the Herd’s exhibition win over Wheeling Jesuit and has limited him in practice all season. He aggravated the injury in a loss at Dayton on Dec. 23 and his minutes have been reduced since then.

Jones said Humphrey’s status for the Memphis game is questionable. He will be a game-time decision for the 8 p.m. Eastern tip-off.

“He did not practice Sunday, he will not practice (Monday) and he will not practice tomorrow,” Jones said Monday on the C-USA coaches’ teleconference. “The inflammation on the bone, the stress fracture is pretty severe. It has really affected his play.

“We have played him out of weakness more than as a strength, which is probably unfair to him.”

This time last year, Humphrey missed three games because of the same injury. Among the games he missed was the Capital Classic against West Virginia, and he could be watching that game again this year — the game is set for next Wednesday.

“It is very similar to what we had to do last year,” Jones said. “We played East Carolina with him injured. We tried to play him through it, but it was unfair to him and the team both.

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