As if coach Steve Pikiell's Stony Brook basketball team hasn't had enough problems adjusting to the loss of injured power forward Tommy Brenton this season, the Seawolves now have another key player on the injury list as they prepare to visit 9-1 Notre Dame of the Big East on Sunday. Senior swing man Chris Martin has been diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his right knee and is scheduled to undergo surgery next week,.
Although Martin recently was moved from the starting lineup to the sixth-man role because he was struggling with his shot, he has been counted on to provide offensive support for leading scorer Bryan Dougher and energy and experience off the bench. It's uncertain exactly when the injury occurred, but it's believed to have happened in a home loss to Lehigh on Dec. 1. In essence, he played hurt since then but only recently was diagnosed.
There is no timetable for his recovery until after the procedure is performed, but teammate Marcus Rouse came back in that Lehigh game from a similar operation after six weeks of rehab. If Martin is as fortunate, that would put his return around early February with six weeks or so left in the regular season assuming doctors don't find more extensive damage.
The loss means the Seawolves keep relying on younger and younger players. Without Martin, it seems likely Pikiell will turn to either Preye Preboye or Leonard Hayes for a contribution off the bench on the wing.
Finals week at Stony Brook has ended, and the Seawolves (4-5) return to action in a very tough spot against the Irish, who are ranked No. 24 by AP and No. 23 by ESPN/USA Today.