After losing 79–69 to Millersville University in the first round of the playoffs on March 2, the Shippensburg University men’s basketball team was set for an eight-month offseason to prepare for the next year. However, this offseason has been different from years past as the Raiders enter the 2013-14 campaign under the helm of first-year head coach Chris Fite. But one constant for the Raiders was their presence in the paint with the 6-foot-10-inch senior Dylan Edgar.
Following a long summer of basketball workouts and conditioning, Edgar was eager for his senior season to begin. However, Edgar’s excitement quickly faded in the beginning of September during the team’s second week of conditioning.
“We were doing individual workouts at the Rec [ShipRec Recreation Center] on the rubber floors. The last thing we did was post-workout drop-step dunks,” Edgar said. “I twisted wrong and I felt something tear.”
According to Edgar, the next few weeks were spent in doctor appointments conducting tests on his knee. Then three weeks later, Edgar received the news. He had a torn lateral meniscus in his right knee.
With one quick twist, Edgar’s best summer of workouts went to the wayside and his next step was surgery.
“It’s so disheartening when you put all the work in over six or seven months and then you have to rush back to get healthy to try to be on the court as soon as possible,” Edgar said.
Following his surgery, Edgar was faced with a decision; whether or not to play this season. According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, student-athletes are generally allowed to play a sport for four years. However, student-athletes also have the ability to redshirt, meaning the student-athlete is enrolled in classes, is a member of the team, and participates in practices, but does not compete.
According to Edgar, he will be returning to SU for the fall semester of 2014 in order to complete his undergraduate degree in finance. Because he will still be enrolled in classes next year, Edgar said the option of redshirting is a possibility whereas he would not consider it if he were not returning next year.
However, Edgar said, “Look to me playing as of now. But, I won’t play until I’m 100 percent comfortable.”
Wesley Mallicone, SU Director of Sports Medicine, said Edgar’s rehab is anticipated to take roughly four to six weeks because he tore his lateral meniscus.
“The lateral meniscus [outside of the knee] takes longer to recover than the medial meniscus [inside of the knee], which takes about two to four weeks to recover,” Mallicone said. “But, it varies with everyone. Each person recovers at different rates.”
Furthermore, Mallicone said Edgar underwent a meniscectomy, which is the process of removing the torn portion of the meniscus. Mallicone said the recovery time for a meniscectomy is much quicker in comparison to the alternative — a meniscal repair, which is the process of sewing the meniscus back together.
As of Oct. 30, Edgar is in the fifth week of his rehab. Each day as the players head to Heiges Field House to work on plays and hone their skills, Edgar parts to continue his daily routine.
First, Edgar works with Mallicone, doing various movement exercises. After the movement exercises, Edgar spends time on the stationary bike beside the court, watching his teammates practice. Next, he heads back to the training room to do stimulation exercises before concluding by icing his knee. But as of right now, Edgar still does not have full movement in his knee.
“It’s still tight. I wouldn’t be able to run right now,” Edgar said. “Some days are harder than others. But, Wes does a great job trying to get me back in time.”
In terms of Edgar’s goals for the season, Edgar said he is taking it week-by-week and working to get healthy.
“Coach Fite has been real supportive,” Edgar said. “I know he cares about me and he just wants me to get healthy.”
Fite said he is “cautiously optimistic” Edgar will be able to return to form before long and have a tremendous impact when he does return. Fite said Edgar should provide the Raiders with a different look offensively when he returns to the lineup.
“He [Edgar] has to be a force in the paint and a leader on and off the court,” Fite said. “But I don’t expect him to shoulder the load any more than the other 14 guys.”
Edgar’s absence not only leaves the team without its biggest player, but he is also the team’s only senior on a young Raider team.
“That’s the hardest thing right now,” Edgar said. “I took the leadership role and was looking forward to that role. But it’s difficult now when I’m cooped up in the training room.”
Nonetheless, Edgar is striving to continue leading the team by being supportive on the bench and by sharing his knowledge with the younger players.
“I give credit to the guys before me because I learned from them about being a student-athlete and a better person in general,” Edgar said. “I always enjoyed talking to older players and learning from them and I hope to do that now.”