Gophers forward Trevor Mbakwe's season over with torn ACL
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The Gophers' worst fear has been realized.
A source close to Gophers star Trevor Mbakwe said on Monday the senior forward has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
Mbakwe, a preseason All-Big Ten selection and a double-double machine, is expected to miss the rest of the season. He underwent an MRI on Monday morning that confirmed the damage, which the team confirmed in a media release a little after 2 p.m. Monday.
"My family and I would like to thank everyone for their support," Mbakwe said in a statement.
The injury happened in Sunday night's Old Spice Classic championship game loss to Dayton when Mbakwe's knee buckled from underneath him in the post. He immediately collapsed to the ground in immense pain.
Later, Mbakwe tweeted, "Lord, please get me through this."
Already 23 years old with a family, it's hard to imagine Mbakwe wanting to apply for a medical hardship waiver through the NCAA, and thus gain another year of eligibility. The belief is he'll want to make money somewhere next year.
If true, the injury will end his college career.
"Trevor's done everything we've asked him to do in his time here at the University of Minnesota. He's been through an awful lot," Gophers coach Tubby Smith said in the statement. "That says a lot about his toughness to be able to recover from the things he has already endured.
"He had a knee surgery before (at Marquette) and for it to happen a second time, you hurt for him, but you know he's a guy that has the will power and has been through it before and can recover again. We are certainly going to miss him. He's having a great year. He's our leader. He's been a big emotional leader for us. Our players look up to Trevor, not just because of his talent, but because of his work ethic, and the type of person he's been.
"The team has watched what he's had to deal with and overcome, and I think that endears you-me, too-to a person like him. He knows that we're here for him, and we will do whatever we can do to help him through this process."