An MRI has confirmed that Siena senior center Imoh Silas has a torn ACL in his right knee and he will be out for the season. Surgery is scheduled for this Friday, opening day for the Saints who travel to UMass to kick off the 2014-2015 season.
Silas injured his knee in the closing minutes of the Saints’ November 6 practice. The MRI results were released Tuesday.
“Imoh’s our family member and he has another year left to play,” head coach Jimmy Patsos said. “Hopefully he comes back, but that’s up to him. He graduates (in May). I’d certainly welcome him back. Everybody has injuries. It’s the way of the sports world now.”
Patsos has indicated that sophomore Javion Ogunyemi was expected to start at the center position but Silas was seen as a key reserve defensively as the team’s leading shot blocker and a solid rebounder who added a physical presence.
Freshman Willem Brandwijk will likely be called on for meaningful minutes early on in Silas’ absence. Despite missing part of Tuesday’s practice with a sore ankle, he is expected to be available for the UMass game. Sophomore Michael Wolfe, who had been discussed as a possible red shirt candidate may also be called on to play a role for the Saints’ in the frontcourt.
Silas started 53 of the 68 games he played the last two seasons after serving a year in residence in 2012-13 following an NCAA ruling. He’s averaged 3.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game in his career.
“He’s a great character guy,” Patsos said. “He gives us toughness and rebounding. He won some games for us last year. He single-handedly won that Cornell game and that was a big turnaround for us. He just got to go home to Nigeria. He hadn’t been home in three and a half years. You put in perspective what he’s done, and everyone on campus loves him. We still have our starting five, but we didn’t have anyone else like him. Now somebody else has to step up.”