Ben Krimmel, a senior majoring in international affairs, is a Hatchet columnist.
Did you see him?
Were you able to spot him in the video running around a screen at the Colonials’ practice? No I’m not talking about GW head coach Mike Lonergan running the drill, but the player wearing the No. 21 shirt. Yeah, that guy. You remember his name?
Kethan Savage is back on the floor for the Colonials. Well, at least for practice.
The last time GW fans were able to see Savage running around the court was Jan. 18 during the game at St. Bonaventure when he broke his foot.
Before last Wednesday’s senior night victory over Saint Joseph’s, Savage was walking around the Smith Center without any limp or protective walking boot, which made it seem possible that he was close to a return.
After missing seven weeks, Lonergan would love to get the guard back and finally have six players that can contribute on offense.
But with GW’s positioning in the NCAA Tournament at “lock” status, there is no need to throw Savage back into the lineup before he is ready. While the sophomore may be lacking in-game sharpness, shoehorning him too quickly could delay his return to full health.
While Savage’s foot injury is different than sophomore Patricio Garino’s finger injury, Garino’s rough road to full health would be a good lesson.
After breaking his finger in the lead up to the start of the season, Garino missed GW’s first two games before entering an injury revolving door: in for two games, out for one, then in again for two more before missing nearly all of December. Garino has played in the last 19-straight contests since New Year’s Eve.
Playing Savage this weekend in Brooklyn is a matter of risk and reward: Does the reward of conference tournament success outweigh the risk of losing Savage for the remainder of the season?
As antsy as Savage looked to get back on the court during the past two months, I would make him wait another week before returning to action.
If Lonergan decides to use Savage, I’d expect him to play sparingly and likely not on back-to-back days. (If the Colonials continue to win, they would play three games in three days.)
Garino’s long absence in non-conference play in December came on the heels of playing two games in three days around the Thanksgiving holiday.
While Savage may be running low on patience, another week spent watching games in a shirt and tie is the best look for GW, as it keeps their high-flying guard available for the big dance.