In Louisville's last start 78-56 win over Western Kentucky, junior forward Mangok Mathiang was struck down by injury, sustaining a broken foot.
X-rays after the game confirmed he had broken the fifth metatarsal and will undergo surgery as soon as possible to surgically insert a screw to correct the fracture. Mathiang had added 3 points, 5 rebounds and 1 blocked shot in 21 minutes in the big win before leaving the game and returning in a protective boot on the sidelines.
Despite battling a number of injury setbacks, Louisville has climbed to #19 in the Associated Press top 25 rankings after compiling a 9-1 resume to open the season. The Cardinal's only loss came at the hands of #3 Michigan State (71-67), with team captain Mathiang playing a large role in their early season success despite the team already missing freshman forward Deng Adel who has been recovering from a sprained medial cruciate ligament.
"I just kind of knew something was messed up and just tried playing through it," Mathiang said after the game. "Usually I play through all my pains and just keep grinding through it. This time, something told me to stop because it might be something serious and you don't want to make it any worse."
Cardinals team captain Mathiang entered the game against Western Kentucky averaging 7.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game.
In better news for the Cardinals, 6'7 forward Adel is set to return to training this week with a view to returning to action in the Billy Minardi Classic commencing on 16 December. Adel who played the first two games of the season as a starter, will be looking to make an immediate positive impact for the Cardinals upon his return.