Junior guard Marcus Evans is recovering from his second Achilles injury in the past two years, but hopes to be ready for the start of the season.
Evans, who played under head coach Mike Rhoades at Rice University, transfered a year ago and spent his first season with VCU on the bench due to NCAA transfer regulations. Two years remain in his playing eligibility, and since the injury occured in June, RamNation is speculative as to when the two-time All-Conference USA selection will be ready for action.
“I’m doing well,” Evans said when asked about the status of his recovery. “I saw the doctor not too long ago, so I’m on the last stretch, really. Now it’s just about getting stronger. I lost a lot of strength when I was in a boot and everything, but I’m close to getting back on the court, so I should be good soon.”
There was never a point in time when Evans thought his injury would prevent him from getting playing time this season. The second injury was far less severe compared to his first, Evans said.
“I have nothing to worry about as far as playing this season, it’s just a matter of going through the process again and getting everything done,” Evans said.
After injuring both of his Achilles, there is less concern about the possibility of re-injury.
“Now that I’ve had both of them done, the doctor just told me I should have no problems,” Evans said. “I was more worried about that first one, because, like I said, it was worse. This one is just more of a nuisance more than anything. But no, I’m not worried. I’m just anxious to get back.”
A typical day for Evans consists of lifting with the team, going to class and working with a physical therapist or trainer to build up his diminished leg strength. He does workouts with his coaches to stay in shape so when the time comes to get on the court, he’ll be ready.
“(The) main thing I’m working on now is just flexibility and not trying to compensate, because I haven’t been using my right leg for when I was in the boot. So just not trying to overdo it with the left and later on have something else (injured),” Evans said.
It has been a long time coming for Evans, who had to spend the 2017-2018 season on the bench watching his team reach for backcourt depth behind senior starting point guard Johnny Williams.
“It’s tough,” Evans said. “Obviously when you go through practice and you do everything the team does, and then you get to the game and you can’t play, it’s tough. But you just try to stay positive and try to get better so when you do get on the court you’re ready.”
Evans, as well as most of the coaching staff, team members and fans, all have their fingers crossed in hopes of his return. Upon getting cleared, Evans is looking forward to playing in the Siegel Center.
“The energy that you saw last year, just the fans, just everything. It’s exciting. It’s what college basketball is all about,” Evans said. “That’s the thing I’m looking forward to the most, just stepping on the court and playing in front of the fans in Siegel Center.”
Evans is not yet cleared to play, but says there is a pretty good chance he will be cleared before the season starts. He wants fans to know that when the time comes, they won’t be disappointed.
“I’ve been waiting on this for a while, and the team is more than excited,” Evans said. “We’re a whole different team from last year, so I think the fans will have a lot to be excited about.”
Jessica Wetzler Sports Editor