Florida Gulf Coast Eagles’ starting power forward Marc-Eddy Norelia broke his hand during practice on Monday, per News-Press.com.
He will undergo a second X-ray to determine a more concrete recovery timetable, but head coach Joe Dooley said that Norelia is expected to miss four to six weeks. That timetable could shift upward to eight weeks depending on further analysis.
“I think he got hit on the hand,” said Dooley. “It was just a weird play. If it’s six weeks, he’ll obviously miss some games. Hopefully we’ll get him back healthy and as quickly as possible.”
Norelia was born in Haiti but moved to America and attended school in Florida. After being cut from his school basketball team in second grade, he grew nearly 10 inches before the next season, jumping from 5-5 to 6-3 over that year. He began college at Tulane before transferring to Florida Gulf Coast.
He was an Atlantic Sun Conference first-team honoree last season, leading Florida Gulf Coast with 17.1 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. The Eagles went 21-14 and lost in the first-round of the NCAA tournament. However, it was the school’s fourth season with a winning record, though it was their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2013.
The always competitive Eagles begin their 2016-2017 season on Friday, Nov. 11 against Florida in Jacksonville. Despite serving as a contender to reach the postseason year after year, Florida Gulf Coast will encounter quite the non-conference schedule as the Eagles will take on the Baylor Bears and Michigan State Spartans in addition to the aforementioned Gators.