Question marks continue to surround Johns Hopkins' Zach Palmer, John Greeley

Status of attackman, midfielder for Saturday's showdown with No. 7 Loyola remains a fluid situation for No. 13 Blue Jays

April 24, 2013|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

Senior attackman Zach Palmer and senior midfielder John Greeley sat out No. 13 Johns Hopkins’ 15-4 thrashing of Navy on Saturday, and their status for this Saturday’s regular-season home finale against No. 7 Loyola remains unresolved.

Palmer, who is tied for second on the Blue Jays (8-4) in assists (12) and ranked third in points (24), has been sidelined for the team’s last two games after sustaining an undisclosed injury during practice on April 10. His absence has been mitigated by the play of senior John Kaestner, who has totaled five goals and three assists in two starts for Palmer.

But coach Dave Pietramala said he would rather have a full complement of options to choose from against the reigning national champion Greyhounds (10-3).

“When you go to a gunfight, you don’t want to go with a knife. You want to go with all of the bullets in your gun, and certainly when you play a team like Loyola, you want to have all of your players out there,” Pietramala said Wednesday morning. “Unfortunately, the sport has become a year-round thing and there are more injuries from practice and games. So injuries are a part of our sport – maybe moreso now than ever before. We’re very thankful that we’ve got a young man like John Kaestner who has been able to step up and do his job. And that’s all John needs to do – his job. We’ll see where we are by the end of the week when our medical staff lets us know where [Palmer] is.”

Greeley missed last Saturday for violating an unspecified team rule, but Pietramala indicated that the four-year starter is dealing with troubles stemming from surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that he tore in 2011 and 2012.

“You’ve got a guy who is coming off an ACL surgery and it’s a long year,” Pietramala said. “It’s a very long year, and the wear and tear on these guys – we dealt with it with [redshirt sophomore short-stick defensive midfielder] Phil Castronova – you’ve got to give these guys a day off here and a day off there. It just wears on you a little bit. The hope is that John will be ready to go.”

Greeley, who is tied with Palmer for second on the team in assists (12), runs on the second midfield with senior John Ranagan and junior Rex Sanders. But Pietramala said if Greeley gets the green light to play this Saturday from the medical staff, he will play.

“I would tell you that if someone is available, they’re going to play,” Pietramala said. “There is no sitting down now. We can’t afford to have guys sit out now, especially at this time of the year. But the key is, will he be medically cleared to play? I don’t have those answers just yet.”

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