Men's Basketball, Sports, WVU Sports

WVU center Jesse Edwards to have wrist surgery, expected to miss ‘approximately four weeks’

MORGANTOWN — At some point, you have to wonder if someone made a voodoo doll of Josh Eilert and then stuck hundreds of pins in it.

Just when the WVU men’s basketball head coach was about to play with a full roster, the Mountaineers have taken another serious hit.

The school announced Monday that senior center Jesse Edwards will miss “approximately four weeks” after he fractured his right wrist in Saturday’s 87-79 loss against UMass.

The press release said Edwards will have surgery on the wrist this week.

It did not include any statement from Eilert, although none is likely needed at this point for anyone to understand the frustration and disbelief he must be feeling.

Eilert did discuss the physical play Edwards has faced from opponents this season following the UMass game.

“I know how people play Jesse Edwards, because they know if he’s not in the game, we can be crippled, so to speak,” Eilert said. “They continued to fight and hack and hack.”

WVU had just seen the return of guards Kerr Kriisa and Noah Farrakhan in last Saturday’s defeat. Kriisa was suspended the first nine games of the season by the NCAA for accepting improper benefits while still enrolled at Arizona.

Farrakhan and teammate RaeQuan Battle had recently become eligible through a legal decision by a federal court judge.

After gaining the right to play, Battle then missed the UMass game with the flu, but is expected to play Wednesday against Radford.

WVU also went the first seven games without forward Akok Akok, who collapsed to the floor during the Mountaineers’ charity exhibition game at the start of the season and wasn’t medically cleared to play again until Dec. 6.

With those players all beginning the process of getting settled in, the Mountaineers (4-6) may have just lost their best player for a month.

Edwards is averaging 14.8 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. He has three double-doubles on the season.

“That wrist injury scares me,” Eilert said after the UMass game. “We’re praying that we can get him back healthy sooner than later.”

Eilert said after the game he wasn’t sure when or how the injury happened.

The TV broadcasters first mentioned Edwards’ injury early in the second half, after he appeared to hit his wrist against the rim while trying to catch a lob pass for a dunk. Edwards then fell to the floor and used his hand to brace his fall.

He came back into the game briefly in the final minutes with his right wrist heavily taped.

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