Montana’s two seniors, forward Mathias Ward and point guard Will Cherry, both watched Tuesday’s practice from the bleachers. That might be as close as they get to the action for a good while. It’s highly unlikely either will play Saturday or Monday when the Griz travel to Montana State and Southern Utah.
Ward missed Saturday’s overtime loss at Davidson after spraining the arch in his left foot late in a win at Idaho State.
“I just came down on someone’s foot wrong, twisted it and felt something pop,” Ward said Tuesday.
Doctors have told Ward he could possibly recover in time to play in the Big Sky tournament, which begins March 14 in either Missoula or Ogden.
“I’m hoping to come back sooner than that,” Ward said.
Cherry, who missed the first seven games of the season with a broken bone in his right foot, thought that he had broken it again late in the game at Davidson.
“It was kind of the same, but it was more when I came down that I heard it pop,” Cherry said. “I instantly thought it broke. There was no way I could have gone back in the game. It was the same exact feeling as when I broke it.”
X-rays on Sunday, though, did not show a break and a more detailed look with a CT scan on Monday confirmed the X-rays.
“They actually said it looked exactly the same as my last checkup. (Jan. 28),” Cherry said.
Cherry said there is no timetable yet for his return.
“That’s a hard call,” Cherry said when asked if he thought he would play for the Griz again. “As of right now I don’t know too much. I haven’t walked an ounce on it since. I want to say I’ll give it a week to see how it’s feeling. Right now it feels as if something’s wrong, but nobody knows what it is. That’s the confusing part and that’s the scary part because I don’t know what the percentages are of me going back out there and this time breaking it.
“Personally, I feel like it’s a warning sign, telling me to take it easy. But I know me, I want to get back on the court. If my foot’s not feeling right, I’m not going to push it because sure, I want to end my career right and do some things I haven’t been able to accomplish. The only thing left for me in my career is to win a game or two in the NCAA tournament and that’s what I want to do. But I have to think long term because there’s life after college basketball. I have to think of what’s best for me personally.”