Will Roman Bravo-Young wrestle against Michigan? Sanderson responds
Penn State wrestler Roman Bravo-Young, who suffered a right leg injury Friday, is questionable for this week’s match against Michigan and does not have a timetable for his return, according to head coach Cael Sanderson.
On Sunday, Penn State Sports Network’s Jeff Byers reported during a radio broadcast that the Nittany Lions’ 133-pound starter was week-to-week but would miss no more than 3-4 weeks “at most” from his apparent knee injury. But Sanderson disputed any timetable.
“I don’t know where he heard that from,” Sanderson said Tuesday afternoon. “But we’re optimistic we’ll see (Bravo-Young) on Friday — but we’ll know more on Friday.”
Bravo-Young suffered the injury Friday night on the road against Purdue. During the first period, he clearly tweaked something in his right leg and called for injury time. Athletic trainer Dan Monthley examined Bravo-Young’s right leg while he was sprawled out on the mat, and he eventually continued.
He winced several times during a 7-3 loss to the Boilermakers’ Ben Thornton and then did not compete Sunday against Indiana. As a result, RBY dropped two spots to No. 15 in the latest InterMat rankings.
One of the big questions is who might take over if RBY can’t go. And that’s not an easy answer.
Michigan’s 133-pound starter, of course, is No. 1 Stevan Micic — who hasn’t lost to a wrestler ranked outside the top 15 since the 2015 season. RBY’s potential replacements at his weight class include five candidates, none of whom boast a winning record: Austin Clabaugh (1-2), Jon Consorti (0-6), Jack Davis (4-4), Mason Lindenmuth (1-2) and Scott Stossel (4-4).
So what does Sanderson still need to see from RBY to give him the green light against Micic on Friday?
“He’s got to be ready to go and be able to wrestle well and be able to defend himself, right? Because it’s still early,” he said, before correcting himself. “Well, it’s not early — but we still have several weeks before the conference meet and the national tournament, so that’s not really a concern.
“But, yeah, we want him in the lineup because, obviously, the more experience he gets, the better. And Friday, with Micic, he’s very, very good — so that’s a guy we’d like him to get a feel for.”
Sanderson also briefly touched on the status of both 184-pounder Shakur Rasheed and 149-pounder Brady Berge, saying “nothing’s wrong with (Berge) at all” and that the team is “optimistic” it’ll see Rasheed compete Friday.
The No. 1 Nittany Lions are set to face No. 4 Michigan at 7 p.m. Friday in the Bryce Jordan Center.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misinterpreted a quote by head coach Cael Sanderson. When Sanderson said, “We’re not going to throw someone out there who’s not ready to go either, not at this point,” he was not giving a nod to a potential forfeit but was instead referring to not using an injured Roman Bravo-Young before he was ready. The CDT regrets the error.