Northwestern State basketball sophomore forward Malik Metoyer may miss the rest of the season due to a knee injury sustained in a pickup game while at home during the recent Christmas holiday, Demons’ coach Mike McConathy said Tuesday.
Metoyer, a versatile 6-7 forward from Lakeview High School, suffered a torn knee ligament and is sidelined indefinitely, McConathy said. The injury is one which may allow him to rehabilitate the knee and return to competition later this season, said athletic trainer Devin Thulin.
“Malik is at a decision-making crossroads. We reach a lot of crossroads in our lives, and he is truly at a crossroad determining whether to have surgery now, or opt to wait to have surgery later and rehab the knee now in hopes of playing again later this season,” said McConathy. “We’re too deep into the season for him to be able to get a medical redshirt year, which is very unfortunate especially because of the progress he has shown in his sophomore season.”
It’s the second major injury suffered by a member of NSU’s playing rotation. Leading scorer Zeek Woodley sustained a broken wrist in the Dec. 19 game at Rice and had surgery Dec. 23. He may be able to return in late February with a few games remaining in the regular season, if his recovery goes well, said Thulin.
Metoyer played in NSU’s 10 games before Christmas, averaging 14 minutes, 4.3 points and 3.8 rebounds per game, while hitting 48 percent of his shots and 69 percent at the free throw line. He scored 10 points, had six rebounds and three assists at Oklahoma, and shagged 10 rebounds against LSU Shreveport.
“His stats don’t reflect the improvement in his game and the importance of his role on our team,” said McConathy. “Malik can guard down low or on the perimeter. He can run the floor with the guards. He can score outside and in. Nobody in our program is more committed to our team, and to making himself better, than Malik.
“We’ve seen in the two games without Zeek and Malik that we have guys capable of helping compensate for their loss. Because we had been using up to 12 players (a dozen have played in at least 10 games) we were confident that was the case,” said McConathy. “Now their challenge is to be consistently more productive as we adjust their roles. That can take time and hopefully it happens sooner than later.”
The Demons (6-6 overall, 0-1 in the Southland Conference) play on the road twice this week, Thursday at Incarnate Word and Saturday night at A&M-Corpus Christi. NSU is home again next Thursday, Jan. 12, and Jan. 14.