Former Shenendehowa standout Emily Weber will be on the Canisius bench when the Griffins take on Siena this afternoon in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference women’s basketball game.
Unfortunately for family and friends that were looking forward to seeing the former Daily Gazette all-star play, that’s where she will remain all afternoon.
The sophomore is sidelined with a stress fracture in her left leg, an injury that has cost her the last nine games, and likely another two weeks of action.
“I had been having pain for about a month, but I thought it was just shin splints, and I could push through it,” Weber said in a phone interview from Fairfield, Conn., where the Griffins were preparing for Friday’s game against the Stags. “I was doing some work with the trainer, and the pain got pretty bad.
“I got an MRI, and found out it was a stress fracture,”
Like any athlete, Weber was not happy knowing she was going to be sidelined.
“I was upset for a few weeks, then coach [Terry Zeh] and I had a talk,” Weber said, “He told me I had to be on the sidelines supporting my teammates, that I can’t feel sorry for myself.”
While the timing of the injury was not good — Weber was getting accustomed to her spot as the second player off the bench — the diagnosis was.
“It was good that we caught it early. I should be back, hopefully, in about another week,” Weber said. “I was told this usually takes 6-8 weeks to heal.
“But I was hoping to get back in time for Sunday.”
Weber last played Dec. 16 at Vermont, scoring five points in 19 minutes of action. Her minutes had increased steadily, and Weber felt she was fitting into Zeh’s offense.
“I was coming off the bench as the seventh player,” said Weber, a Miss New York State Basketball finalist her senior year at Shenendehowa. “We run a motion offense, so its kind of freelance, you can drive to the basket or shoot the jump shot. It suits me well.”
Weber scored five points in 24 minutes in Canisius’ season-opener against Detroit. She had her career high of 12 points the following game, getting on the floor for 23 minutes in a 102-54 loss at Michigan State,
After scoring only two points the next three games, Weber got 11 in 21 minutes against Buffalo.
She continued to get more minutes — 25 against St. Bonaventure, 23 in a two-point win over Bryant. She had to shut it down after the Vermont game,
Since then, her contributions have been limited to watching film with her teammates and supporting them at games,
It’s taking her back a little to last season.
“As a freshman in Division I, it’s not unusual to struggle a bit, learning the systems on offense and defense,” she said. “You get into the games and you’re a litte bit nervous and a little intimidated. The intensity level is so much higher at this level.
“I was comfortable this year. Now, I have to wait until I can get back on the court.”
In order to maintain her conditioning as she waits medical clearance to get back to practice, Weber’s rehabilitatiom have included workouts in a swimming pool.
“This week, I’ll be doing more. I should able to shoot. I can take the aircast off now, and next week I hope to be running,” she said.
Reach Gazette Sportswriter Bill Palmer at 395-3157 or firstname.lastname@example.org.