Maryland men’s basketball forward Bruno Fernando sprained his right ankle as he landed after grabbing a rebound with about 11 minutes left against Ohio on Thursday and is expected to miss at least the team’s next two games, coach Mark Turgeon said.
Fernando needed help as he limped to the bench but was eventually able to walk to the locker room under his own power. During the preseason, the freshman suffered a high ankle sprain on his left leg that required him to miss almost three weeks of practice. This injury is on his right leg and is believed to be a low ankle sprain, Turgeon said.
“It wasn’t nearly as scary as the last ankle sprain, because [then] his leg wrapped up underneath him,” Turgeon said. “This one, he stepped on a guy’s foot.”
Turgeon did not offer a timeline for Fernando’s return.
Fernando has been a significant contributor for the Terps this season, averaging 10.8 points and 5.6 rebounds through the first 10 games. The Angolan has also been a key energy piece for the team and added physicality inside.
But with almost a month until their next conference game and the Terps navigating the easiest portion of their schedule, Turgeon was less concerned with how Fernando’s absence would affect his team in games than its effect on Fernando’s development.
“The thing that stinks the most is practice time,” Turgeon said. “We’re going to actually have time to practice after Tuesday. That’s what hurts the most and that’s what hurt him the most the first ankle sprain.”
Without Fernando, Turgeon will rely more on center Sean Obi and forward Ivan Bender, he said. The team could also use forward Justin Jackson more in the post than he has so far this season, where he spent significant time as a freshman last year.
“We won a lot of games with Ivan Bender at the five last year,” Turgeon said. “It’s an opportunity for people. The guys handled those opportunities tonight really well.”