Virginia Tech senior Victor Davila will likely miss his fourth straight game Saturday when the Hokies take on No. 5 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and it is becoming increasingly clear that the remainder of the forward’s season is now in doubt.
After being sidelined with what doctors believed to be some kind of groin injury, the prognosis on Davila got more mysterious Thursday when Coach Seth Greenberg told reporters the injured area had yet to respond to a steroid injection done as part of a minor hospital procedure Wednesday.
An MRI exam earlier in the week revealed there was no tear in Davila’s groin, and doctors are unsure exactly what’s wrong at this point. But it appears this is more than simply a strained groin, and doctors have begun focusing on the joint where the pain is originating from rather than the actual muscle.
“Right now, they’re at a little bit of a loss,” Greenberg said. “If [the steroid injection] doesn’t work, then he’ll get an MRI in that joint to see if there’s something else there. It’s not the groin, but the doctor puts him through these tests and the guy can’t even lift his leg without being in excruciating pain.”
This uncertainty means Davila may have played his final game in a Virginia Tech uniform, although Greenberg hasn’t officially ruled out a comeback over the final weeks of the season. Before this injury, Davila had missed just one game during his four-year career in Blacksburg and had been in Virginia Tech’s starting lineup in 92 of the past 93 games.
This season he’s averaging 7.5 points and 4.2 rebounds per game, but more significant in the short term is that Davila has proven particularly effective against the Blue Devils over the years. He had his best game of this season when the Hokies lost to Duke earlier this month, outplaying Mason Plumlee much of the night and tying his career high with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Now, though, Virginia Tech will once again be forced to rely on sophomore Cadarian Raines and freshman C.J. Barksdale, who both have shown promise receiving extended minutes with Davila sidelined. Greenberg is particularly concerned with how effective both Plumlee brothers – Mason and Miles – have been on the offensive glass of late.
“Cadarian’s got to stay out of foul trouble and we’re gonna have to get quality minutes out of C.J. and our guards are going to have to rebound the basketball,” Greenberg said. “We’re gonna have to find ways to rebound. It’s not the ideal situation, but it’s the situation we have.”
The one thing going in Virginia Tech’s favor is that Duke must deal with a quick turnaround after avenging one of its four losses this year by beating No. 15 Florida State, 74-66, in Tallahassee, Fla., Thursday night. Led by guard Andre Dawkins and Austin Rivers, the Blue Devils hit 13 three-pointers in a victory that puts them in the driver’s seat in terms of winning the ACC regular season title.