WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue forward Drey Mingo may miss the entire season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee Saturday.
The school said in a release that the 6-foot-2 Atlanta native was injured during an intrasquad scrimmage earlier in the day. Coach Sharon Versyp said surgery has not yet been scheduled, but it typically takes four to six months to recover, meaning the fifth-year senior is not likely to play this season.
The announcement came hours after the Boilermakers debuted at No. 17 in the first Top 25 poll of the season.
“She will continue to have the support of her coaches and teammates,” Versyp said. “We’ve been in this situation before, and we will pull together to pursue our goals. We have depth and experience this season and will rely on others to step up to fill the void created by Drey’s injury.”
Versyp said the team has not decided whether Mingo will apply for a sixth season of eligibility.
Mingo missed four games last year after being diagnosed with meningitis, a life-threatening illness, just before Thanksgiving. The illness prompted the Boilermakers to cancel their trip to Cancun, Mexico, for a holiday week tournament.
When Mingo returned to the floor, she wound up as the team’s top rebounder (5.8) and second-leading scorer at 12 points per game. She also led the team in field goal percentage (52.3) and set the school’s single-season record for 3-point percentage (48.2).
This year, a healthy Mingo was expected to be a cornerstone for Purdue’s resurgence.
“Drey has certainly faced her share of adversity, and through her demonstration of grace and faith battling through her illness last November, I know that she has the strength to handle this hurdle as well,” Versyp said.
But it’s the latest debilitating knee injury to hit Purdue’s sports program.
Robbie Hummel, a forward with the men’s basketball team, hasn’t played since tearing the ACL in his right knee in February 2010. The injury kept him out the rest of that season, and he tore the same ligament in the same knee last October, keeping him out all of last season, too.
Purdue’s football program has been hit the hardest, though.
The Boilermakers lost starting quarterback Robert Marve, No. 1 running back Ralph Bolden and leading receiver Keith Smith all with season-ending torn ACLs before October 2010, and it was the second time Marve tore an ACL since transferring to Purdue from Miami. Then, in August, the Boilermakers lost incumbent starting quarterback Rob Henry for this season with a torn ACL in his left knee.