Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Curse of Jason Fraser Strikes Again

Moupthtaou Yarou has tested positive for Hepatitis B. There is no timetable set for his return yet. Here are some facts on Hepatitis B from WebMD:
"Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver. Most adults who get hepatitis B have it for a short time and then get better. This is called acute hepatitis B. You can have hepatitis B and not know it. You may not have symptoms. If you do, they can make you feel like you have the flu. But as long as you have the virus, you can spread it to others. Sometimes the virus causes a long-term infection, called chronic hepatitis B. Over time, it can damage your liver. In most cases, hepatitis B goes away on its own. You can relieve your symptoms at home by resting, eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding alcohol and drugs. Treatment for chronic hepatitis B depends on whether your infection is getting worse and whether you have liver damage. Most people with chronic hepatitis B can live active, full lives by taking good care of themselves and getting regular checkups. Sometimes chronic hepatitis B can lead to severe liver damage. If this happens, you may need a liver transplant."
It's unknown whether Yarou has acute or chronic Hepatitis B. He has been ruled out for Wednesday's game against Drexel, but depending on the severity of the virus he could conceivably be back as early as Sunday, or he could be out for the remainder of the season.

Yarou is the most highly touted big man Jay Wright has recruited to Villanova since Jason Fraser in 2002. Fraser was considered the top high school center in the country by many scouts, yes, over Amare Stoudemire. He was the prized recruit of the Foye, Ray, Sumpter class, and he looked like a can't miss prospect who could have went straight to the NBA if he desired. However, Fraser suffered from a long list of injuries since stepping on campus. From Villanova.com here's a quick rundown of Fraser's woes.

Freshman year: "Injuries and a suspension caused him to miss the last three weeks of the season ... Underwent surgery on both of his knees on April 9 to repair ligament damage ... Diagnosed with a stress reaction in his left foot on Feb. 24."
Sophomore year: "Played only 10 minutes prior to January after battling a stress fracture in his left heel."
Junior year: "Spent most of the season as a reserve in an effort to limit the stress on his knees... Following the season he underwent surgery on his right hand for the second time in four months after breaking the navicular bone in a game against Providence on Jan. 11 .. . Five days later, on May 11, he underwent microfracture surgery on both knees in a procedure designed to relieve the persistent swelling and tendonitis that has plagued him throughout his stint on the Main Line ... Now has undergone seven surgical procedures in less than 30 months ... Missed four games with a fractured bone in his right hand in January... Returned to action on Jan. 29 at Rutgers after missing four games with a fractured right hand... Underwent surgery to have a screw inserted into a fracture in the carpal navicular bone in his right hand on Jan. 14... Made his first appearance against UMBC since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Oct. 22."
Senior year: He appeared in every game, but was never fully recovered from his previous injuries.

In the meantime Villanova should be just fine without Yarou. Antonio Pena is having a breakout junior season, averaging a double-double. Taylor King will have to play undersized at the power forward position at times, but he has shown good rebounding ability so far, averaging almost seven boards per game. Finally, Maurice Sutton has been a pleasant surprise with his quality rebounding and shot-blocking. Let's hope Mouph recovers fully and quickly, and that he has a little more luck in the injury department than his predecessor.

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