Davila has not played in the Hokies’ past six games and will sit out Virginia Tech’s matchup Thursday against Clemson in the first round of the ACC tournament. Three separate steroid injections have failed to elicit any progress in the injured groin.
“Every time I try to step or am walking, it’s just pain, straight pain,” Davila said. “It feels like it’s pulling. So all I’ve been doing is just rehabbing and stretching to try to get it loose, but nothing. No results at all.”
Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg said he believes Davila is suffering from a sports hernia. Davila has undergone steroid shots in his hip joint, back and groin to try to alleviate the pain, but none were effective. Davila had his most recent procedure Monday. He did not participate in Virginia Tech’s open practice session Wednesday at Philips Arena.
“I don’t expect it unless maybe we get some Michael Jordan magic potion,” Greenberg said. “Besides that, I don’t expect him to play. I just feel so bad for the kid. He’s such a great kid, and he’s given us so much for the last three and a half years. You always want someone to have closure, and for him not to have an opportunity to have closure, it’s disheartening as a coach.”
Davila had started all but one game for the Hokies in the past three years. This season, he had averaged 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 56.9 percent from the field before his injury.
In Davila’s absence, redshirt sophomore forward Cadarian Raines has emerged to produce four double-digit scoring efforts in Virginia Tech’s past five games. He logged at least 32 minutes in each of those four contests, which is well above his season average (18.1 minutes per game).
Raines understands the frustration Davila is enduring. During his first two years at Virginia Tech, Raines underwent two surgeries to try to repair his fractured left foot. After the second surgery was unsuccessful, Davila underwent shock therapy in Charlotte that created more circulation in the bone. That procedure enabled the bone to heal.
Though he is dealing with a groin injury of his own, Raines said the pain isn’t bad enough to keep him off the court, particularly given Virginia Tech’s sparse stable of big men.
Greenberg said he’s been impressed with Raines’s ability of late to catch the ball in traffic and play off of ball screens. That, the player said, is a byproduct of him being allowed to play through his mistakes, which is something he hadn’t been given the chance to do in the past.
“Getting a lot of minutes lately, it just builds your confidence up,” Raines said. “Playing a lot, getting used to things – you know, you miss some [shots], you might go on a run. I just waited on my opportunity, and I’m happy about it.”