When John Greeley aggravated the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the second quarter of Johns Hopkins' 8-2 loss to Navy on April 21, the junior midfielder joined sophomore defensive midfielder Phil Castronova (knee) as Johns Hopkins players whose status for 2013 was in question.

Coach Dave Pietramala said the uncertainty regarding their return has been lifted somewhat as he has received positive reports from the school’s medical staff on their recovery.

“It’s my understanding that both – and obviously, Phil is far ahead of John just because of the timing of the injuries – will be full go from the first day of practice in the spring,” Pietramala said. “… There’s no need to bring a guy back too early for fall ball when they can continue to rehab, they can work slowly into practice, and we don’t put them in harm’s way. … We’ll take that simpler approach.”

Greeley may have recorded just seven goals and seven assists in 12 starts this past spring, but he had been a stalwart on the first line since his freshman year.

The return of Castronova may be even more critical for the Blue Jays, who have a vacancy to fill after the graduation of Marshall Burkhart. Castronova posted four goals, three assists, 42 groundballs and nine caused turnovers in 2011 – his first year as one of the team’s two short-stick defensive midfielders.

“When we lost Phil, we lost our most athletic short stick and our best wing player and our best groundball player in addition to a guy that could really defend well and create transition,” Pietramala said. “I think you saw that the year before when he played. And when you lost that person at the time that we lost him which was right before the season began, you’re kind of looking around, going, ‘OK, we’ve got to make some decisions here. We’ve got to shuffle the deck and move some people around.’ If Phil can come back healthy and 100 percent, he certainly brings an entity that this team needs. We need to be better off the ground. We need to be tougher. We need to be tougher off the ground. Those are three areas that we need to improve in, and he certainly helps us there.”