Lately, the Syracuse blogosphere has rumbled with questions on whether Fab Melo should rest his injury until the start of Big East play. With a slight tear in his right calf, his time has been managed carefully and it seems like he’s starting to improve.
Against Iona and Colgate he played only eleven minutes combined. Last game against Morgan State he totaled a career-high 19 minutes of work and scored nine points while blocking four shots – easily his best effort yet.
As he’s improving, it’s important to know how he’s treating his injury. Fab has told me it’s just slightly larger than a microtear (or what often happens from lifting weights). In a microtear, the muscle is slightly damaged, but will grow back and repair itself – thus leading to muscle growth. That reparation of the muscle is the soreness one feels after lifting weights. Fab has a slightly bigger tear, he says.
The problem for him comes when he is inactive, not running the court, and the muscle has a chance to relax. After coming to the bench against Iona, he put an ice pack on his leg for the rest of the game because he knew that he wasn’t returning. But against Morgan State, he reentered late in the second half and put a heat pack on the leg to make it feel like it was staying active.
Melo also says, “I feel like it’s been getting better. Everyday I’ve been getting better in practice and in games.” It does appear that way. I asked him after playing 19 minutes and collecting three fouls if he thought his defense was better.
“Yes. Playing the middle of the zone is not easy. You have to move a lot. You have to have good footwork and that’s been my problem. I have to move a lot.”
From close observation, just about any time he comes out of the game after a foul, Boeheim usually pantomimes something about keeping his hands straight up instead of going for a block.
With just one game left before Big East play, it’s good for Melo to get in as many minutes as possible because, like it or not, we shouldn’t be surprised to see him foul out of a conference game or two.
Posted: Mike Couzens