UDM Improvement ’13: Injuries

This is a weird concept to play around with. Obviously, injuries are, by nature, unpredictable. If I could sit here and say “Plays X, Y, and Z will go through the season uninjured,” I’d either be Nostradamus or lying to you.

Regardless, there’s no denying that Detroit’s 2012 team was particularly snake-bitten, and it’s unlikely that next year’s edition will suffer the same fate. I think it’s time for a chart.

 Player  Games Played (of 15)
Joel Matthews 10
Tim Lehto 14
Mike Birney 12
Troy Dennis 14
Tom Sible 14
Brandon Davenport 14
AJ Levell 14
Jamie Hebden 14
Joe MacLean 14
Adam Nolan 14

While all of those games missed weren’t due to injury – some were coaches’ decisions, suspensions, etc. – many of them were, and the fact that the majority of them came in the second half of the season (when UDM collapsed down the stretch) hurt the Titans’ chances at finishing the way they wanted.

That some players on this list made it into as many games as they did (Jamie Hebden played with a broken leg for a month, for example) speaks to the toughness of the players. More UDM players, including MAAC Long-stick middie of the year Jordan Houtby, played through injuries as well. It also brings up a valid point that, had they not been playing through injuries, the season would have likely gone much better. With any of those players at full strength for the entire year, UDM would have had an improved shot at the team’s first NCAA tournament.

As I said at the top of the post, injuries are inherently unpredictable. UDM wasn’t the only team to suffer injuries to key players last season, either (look at Cornell, which was without Rob Pannell almost the entire year). However, the sheer volume of injuries suffered by the Titans is notable, and unlikely to repeat.

A healthier 2013 should be a more successful 2013 on the field.

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