I am starting to think Greg Elliott shattered a mirror, walked under one too many ladders, or desecrated a Native American burial ground because he once again finds himself sidelined due to injury. This morning, Marquette Basketball tweeted out that Elliott underwent successful right ankle surgery yesterday and will need an estimated 3-4 months to recover.
#mubb RSo. guard Greg Elliott @GE3__ underwent successful surgery (right ankle) Thursday afternoon (June 20) after suffering injury that morning in workout. Estimated recovery time 3-4 months. pic.twitter.com/d4yk6bMYoX— Marquette Basketball (@MarquetteMBB) June 21, 2019
For those who may not remember, Elliott was out for most of the 2018-19 non-conference season with a reoccurring ligament injury to his left hand and decided to redshirt instead of playing half a season. Elliott also played his freshman season with a damaged ligament in his left hand which limited his ability to dribble. Despite playing injured in the 2017-18 season, Elliott averaged 4.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game as a freshman while playing in 35 games and starting four of them. These numbers do not fully showcase how effective Elliott was, as he was in the top 300 in the nation in both steal and block percent. Additionally, his 121.9 offensive rating was 9th best in the BIG EAST (albeit in a small sample size).
With Markus Howard and Sacar Anim coming back plus the additions of guards Koby McEwen, Symir Torrence, and Dexter Akanno, the battle for playing time at guard was shaping up to be a fierce one. Elliott’s injury will do him no favors in this battle as the 3-4 month range of recovery predicts he will be healthy sometime between the start of practices in the fall and the start of the non-conference season. It also means he will not be able to play on Marquette’s trip abroad this season which will allow the other guards to build chemistry while Elliott is relegated to the role of cheerleader. Hopefully he’ll be able to travel to Europe at his stage of recovery in August
I am not going to lie, this is incredibly disappointing, both as a Marquette fan and just as a human being who likes seeing good things happen to people. During his lone season at Marquette, Elliott was a very solid defender and showed flashes of being a real offensive threat. Obviously, he could return healthy at the start of the season and fulfill his promise but that is going to be much more difficult after taking a few months off while everyone else is gearing up for the season. He might be cleared to play by November 1st, but his cardio situation is clearly going to be a total disaster after being sidelined on crutches.
Now that I am done talking about why this sucks, I would like to point out that we neither know how/where the injury to Elliott’s ankle happened or what the injury actually is. The tweet from Marquette Basketball only stated the injury happened “in workout”. I am really hoping this is not another weightlifting/conditioning injury because that would be the second of those in two years (see Matt Heldt’s big toe). If anyone knows Marquette’s practice schedule, they could figure it out as they stated the injury took place in the morning. However, I am not that person, so I will leave it up to the Internet Detectives. Additionally, the tweet by Marquette Basketball does not elaborate on what type of ankle injury Elliott suffered. The two most likely culprits would be a broken ankle or a torn ligament in his ankle. Personally, my very non-medically enlightened opinion is we should hope for a broken ankle. Breaks, although painful, are easier to come back from than torn ligaments that require surgery. Plus, we have already had enough bad luck with Elliott trying to return from ligament injuries.
Overall, this pretty much sucks. Greg Elliott is going to have to miss playing on the overseas trip and the practices leading up to it and may not be in playing shape when the season rolls around. This is no means a death rattle for his season and he very well could be ready day one and play very well. Here’s hoping for a quick recovery and a healthy future.