On July 10, many people thought senior forward Latreze Mushatt’s career as a Murray State Racer was over.
Mushatt was expected to start alongside Ed Daniel in the paint for Murray State before he tore his Achilles tendon during a summer workout. Two days later, Mushatt went in for surgery to repair the tendon and was told it would be close to seven months before he could get back on the court.
Head Coach Steve Prohm requested an additional sixth year of eligibility (Mushatt sat out one year after he transferred to Murray State from Missouri-Kansas City), but was declined. Not sure if he would get the chance to finish out his senior year on the court, Mushatt hit the rehab hard.
When the season began, Prohm told the media he did not expect to see the 6 foot 5 inch forward until late January or early February.
Mushatt’s recovery, however, is progressing ahead of schedule. Just four months after suffering his injury, Mushatt began participating in non-contact drills last week in practice.
“He’s done great with his rehab,” Prohm said. “Now you’ve got to go through a couple weeks of actual practice to get in shape, so you’re still looking at the whole month of December to get back in game shape to play in January.”
Instead of a return in early February, the Racers are hoping to get Mushatt back nearly a month earlier than expected – just in time for conference play to start.
Mushatt’s return would add some much needed depth to a team whose bench is entirely made up of freshmen.
Mushatt could also help take some of the pressure off fellow big men Daniel and Brandon Garrett, who are currently averaging 28.7 and 20.4 minutes per game respectively.
Mushatt played a big role for the Racers last season as the team’s second leading rebounder in conference play.
“He already knows what we’re doing and knows what’s expected,” Prohm said. “He started eight to 10 games for us last year on a very good basketball team. He understands his role and he’s been there and produced. I don’t want to rush him, but whenever we can get him back it will be a huge positive.”
The Racers’ OVC schedule kicks off Jan. 3 at UT Martin.
Story by: Jonathan Ferris, Sports Editor