CBKB: Notre Dame F Harangody may not return this season
By TOM COYNE
AP Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Forward Luke Harangody, Notre Dame’s leading scorer and rebounder, may not return this season from a bone bruise to his right knee.
“There’s a chance he would not come back this season; there’s a chance he could. I think we’re week to week,” coach Mike Brey said Monday.
Harangody said he hopes to return this season, but could not give any timetable of when that would be.
“The thing about this injury is you never know when it’s going to be healed. I’ll have to know when I know,” he said.
Harangody injured his knee Feb. 11 against Seton Hall. Brey said the Irish are preparing for Wednesday’s game against Connecticut as though Harangody won’t play, and if he doesn’t play against UConn, he probably won’t play in the regular-season finale at Marquette on Saturday.
“If something changes, that would be a nice thing,” Brey said.
Harangody didn’t plan to practice on Monday, saying he didn’t know when he would test it next. He said the knee feels fine when he’s walking around normally. The pain comes when he’s on the court.
“That’s what’s mentally hard to deal with this particular injury, it’s only going to be bad when something happens on the court, when it goes wrong,” Harangody said. “For me to deal with that has been kind of hard. It feel fine right now. I feel 100 percent.”
Brey said Harangody may not be ready to play even if the Irish advance to the NCAA tournament.
“A bone bruise takes time, and each guy is different. You have to be very cautious with this,” Brey said. “There’s really no treatment. Ice doesn’t do anything for a bone bruise, there’s no newfangled electric stim(ulation). It just takes time.”
Brey said Harangody tried to go against Louisville on Feb. 17, a game the Irish lost 91-89 in double overtime, but wasn’t feeling good after the shootaround.
“I told him after shootaround, ’Well I’m not playing you. So how’s that? Does that make the decision easier? There’s no way I’m going to put you in the game. You’re not ready,”’ Brey said. “I think from there he’s stepped back and he sees it realistically. Certainly he’s disappointed, but understands this is the deal. ... He has a bright future making a living playing the game. That’s part of the equation.”
The Irish are 2-2 without Harangody, but have consecutive wins against then-No. 11 Georgetown and then-No. 12 Pittsburgh.
Harangody, who is second in the nation in scoring at 24.1 points a game, was on pace to become the Big East’s all-time leading scorer with 1,324 points with six league games left. But with two games now left, he needs 65 points to pass Troy Bell of Boston College for second and 82 points to pass Syracuse’s Lawrence Moten as the league’s all-time scorer.
Harangody will still go down as one of the best ever at Notre Dame, Brey said.
“When he got here, he made us believe again. There was a toughness that helped us. As a freshman, he was an impact guy,” Brey said. “You look at what he’s done throughout his career and what I look at is the intensity on a daily basis. Wanting to win, still, every drill, even as a senior. That’s the thing that will stick with me. He’s been a great example for younger players in our program.”