Navy's Tim Paul diagnosed with sprained ankle
The No. 15 Midshipmen dodged a bullet after x-rays and a magnetic resonance imaging exam revealed that junior attackman Tim Paul, the team's leading scorer, suffered a sprained left ankle in Friday night's 10-4 victory over No. 9 Maryland.
"It turned out not to be as serious as we originally had thought," Navy coach Richie Meade said earlier Monday. "He'll go through therapy, and he'll start practicing as soon as he comes through that. He could play Saturday [against Army] or it might not respond. We don't really know."
Asked if Paul was a game-time decision, Meade replied affirmatively before adding, "If he's ready, he's going to play."
Paul suffered the injury just 2 minutes, 51 seconds into the third quarter when he planted his left foot while trying to spin away from Terps sophomore defenseman Max Schmidt and quickly crumpled to the turf behind the net. Paul grabbed his left knee, which led those of us in the press box at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium to speculate that he had torn the anterior cruciate ligament.
But Paul had ice wrapped around his ankle and he reportedly took part in post-game handshakes with the Maryland players. Despite missing almost all of the second half, Paul still leads the Midshipmen in goals (17), assists (13) and points (30).
"It's not a pleasant thought to think you're going to lose your leading scorer for the rest of the year," Meade said. "We're happy that he's going to be able to play."
Meade also confirmed that sophomore defenseman Michael Hirsch had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during practice last Wednesday. Hirsch is expected to undergo surgery on the knee sometime this week.