Even a sore left hip won’t prevent Steele Stanwick from making his customary start in Saturday’s showdown between No. 1 Virginia and No. 2 Johns Hopkins.
The senior attackman has been bothered by a hip injury that was most noticeable during the Cavaliers’ 9-8 overtime win against Cornell at the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic on March 10.
The pain flares up occasionally as it did during practice Monday when he doubled over after scoring a goal. But Stanwick said the injury is not serious.
“It’s one of those things where I feel it every so often, but it’s definitely manageable,” the Baltimore native and Loyola graduate said during a conference call with media Wednesday. “So I’m not very worried about it going into Saturday.”
Coach Dom Starsia said time and rest are the best remedies for the hip, but with upcoming contests against No. 10 Maryland, No. 13 North Carolina and No. 11 Duke preceding the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament on April 20 and 22, sitting Stanwick for even one game is an unlikely prospect.
“[A]nd he doesn’t want to sit out,” Starsia noted. “Good players play with bumps and bruises. Maybe they adjust their games and figure it out. When the trainers come to me and say, ‘Look, you can have this guy or maybe we can hold him out,’ my general sense is let him play. I think figuring out how to play with some discomfort is part of being a top college athlete. So we’re going to be careful there. We obviously don’t want him to get hurt. We’ve got a lot of season to go, but I don’t think sitting him out now would really move his progress along a great deal. So we’re obviously taking it easy with him in practice, but I don’t think he wants to hear from me that we might hold him out.”
Indeed, Stanwick said that he has not considered taking a week off.
“I haven’t given that much thought,” he said. “It’s something that I’m capable of playing through. It’s been getting better every day, and it’s not one of those things where it gets worse when you play on it. So I haven’t given it much thought. Just getting ready to go for Saturday.”