No. 16 Baylor Bears Lose A Bit of Bite with Maston Hand Injury
Bears are known for their strong bite and their massive paws. The 16th ranked Baylor Bears Men’s Basketball team lost a little bit of their bite this past Tuesday’s due to a paw injury. The Bears number one reserve Terry Maston broke his dominant right shooting hand on Tuesday night in the loss at Xavier. Maston was making a push for the best 6th man in the NCAA this season. The 6’8″ senior forward was averaging 11.7 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game, making him an invaluable piece of Baylor’s offensive puzzle. The Bears suffered their first loss of the season up at Xavier and it does not get any easier as they face 8th ranked Wichita State this Saturday. The Bears are already very think playing only seven healthy scholarship players.
X-rays taken on Wednesday confirmed Baylor’s worst fears that the right hand was indeed broken. Maston will undergo surgery to repair the brake on Thursday. He will likely require screws and plates to fixate the fractured bone and allow it to heal. The timeframe for fixated bone to heal is four to six weeks. T.J. Maston will likely remain sidelined until January while the surgical procedure heals. He will likely see a hand specialist and/or an orthopedic surgeon and follow the procedure up with physical therapy to regain his range of motion and dexterity and decrease the stiffness in that surgically repaired hand. Around week 2-4 he will begin working on hand, finger, and grip strength.
Impact and Return to Play
The fact that it is Maston’s dominant right hand makes this a slightly more concerning injury. He will need to make sure he has his fine motor skills back at 100% as the fine and intricate hand muscles that go down into the fingers are pivotal in ball handling and shooting skills. Maston will also have to work on regaining his proprioception or “touch” back as well. Following a break and a surgery, several small nerve endings will likely be damaged and need to regenerate and heal. That helps with the ability to feel what the hand is doing in relationship to the basketball, which will be a big factor for a jump shooter of Maston’s skill and ability level.
Assuming his surgery is not complicated and the rehabilitation goes smoothly, I expect his return to be in the 6 week range. Look for Freshmen Tristan Clark to get a bump in minutes while Maston recovers.