When the BYU Men’s Basketball team took the court for their annual Boom Shakalaka event Friday evening, there was one glaring omission: star point guard Kyle Collinsworth was not participating.
There was no immediate reason given for Collinsworth’s absence, but today Vanquish the Foe reported that the senior guard is out indefinitely with knee pain caused by patellar tendonitis, or “Jumper’s Knee.”
According to the report, which cites the Mayo Clinic, patellar tendonitis is a common injury among basketball players, caused by overuse and stress on the patellar tendon. Pain happens when the tendon is tore and becomes inflammed and weakened.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Collinsworth has had knee problems. During the 2013-14 season, Collinsworth’s season ended prematurely with a torn ACL
Last season, Collinsworth returned from injury and had a stellar junior year. The multidimensional guard averaged 13.8 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, and led the nation with six triple-doubles.
Given his history of his knee problems, the Cougars are understandably taking a cautious approach to Collinsworth’s knee pain, especially since the injury could become more serious if not properly addressed.
From the Vanquish the Foe report:
“In keeping with commonly prescribed treatment for tendinitis, Collinsworth has been held out of practice and other basketball events (i.e., Boom Shakalaka), and will likely continue to rest his knee over at least the coming week. Sources say he is unlikely to participate in Wednesday’s Cougar Tip-Off scrimmage and may also sit out Friday’s exhibition matchup with Arizona Christian.
There is no exact timetable for Collinsworth’s return at this time. Any decision on when the senior co-captain can resume full basketball activities will be made depending on his response to treatment.”
Collinsworth reportedly received an injection last week to assist with his recovery. Now, he must rest and give his knee enough time to heal — which unfortunately means keeping him off the court.
If Collinsworth is forced to miss any time past the preseason, it will be a major blow for BYU. The Cougars are the team most likely to challenge defending-champion Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference, but will need their senior guard at full strength if they are to accomplish that feat.
Likewise, the preseason is not an ideal time for Collinsworth to be out either. Because of the high volume of players serving two-year church missions, BYU is a program with constant roster turnover, and this season is no different.
Including Collinsworth, the Cougars return five players who played last season. While Collinsworth is obviously familiar with the system, preseason practices and exhibitions give him a chance to mesh with new teammates and become more familiar with playing as a new unit.
While Collinsworth’s second knee injury in three seasons is a bit concerning, all signs point toward the current setback not being serious. With enough rest, Collinsworth will hopefully be ready for the season opener, and should be back to full strength by the time conference play begins.
In the meantime, other players, such as seniors Chase Fischer and Nate Austin, must step up in Collinsworth’s absence and lead the team. The Cougars have enough talent to put together another successful season, but must tread water until their star guard returns.