MORGANTOWN, W.Va–Nathan Adrian had a tough sophomore season for the West Virginia Mountaineers.
After a breakout freshman campaign, Mountaineers’ fans expected more from the Morgantown native. Adrian averaged 2.8 points a game last season. He shot just 30.7 percent and only 17.7 percent from beyond-the-arc.
It seemed like a funk that Adrian could not shake or maybe it was a lingering injury.
The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Adrian suffered a wrist injury last October, but tried to cover it up.
“I didn’t tell anyone until late February. I thought if it was broken, it would go away. It never did, so eventually I had to tell someone,” Adrian said.
He played through the pain for fear of missing the entire season if he needed surgery.
“Whenever I dribbled with it, shot with it, it hurt. It kind of gets in your head,” Adrian added.
Once the season ended doctors tried avoiding surgery and gave Adrian a couple of shots. The first one helped for a short time but the second one didn’t faze him, leaving doctors no choice but to take the forward under the knife three weeks ago.
“They went in and cut the tendon and had to get a cyst out,” he said.
Adrian will travel to the Bahamas with his teammates but will not play during the tournament. He is still several weeks away from being game ready.
He expects to be ready to go at the beginning of school, just in time for his junior season.
Hopefully fans will get a chance to see a much improved Adrian.
“I’m 45 pounds heavier than when I arrived here, moving better than I ever have. It’s all around, defense, everything. You just improve on it day-to-day,” he said.
A healthy Adrian could greatly improve WVU’s chances at a return trip to the NCAA tournament.