No. 3 Syracuse is preparing to suit up for its fourth consecutive game without top defenseman John Lade.
The senior is nursing a high ankle sprain originally injured in the Orange's 13-11 win against Duke at the Konica Minolta Big City Classic at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on April 3.
Since then, Lade has not played, and coach John Desko said on Tuesday that he doesn't expect Lade to play against Hobart on Tuesday night.
"We just thought that he had twisted his ankle," Desko said. "There was some swelling, and we thought that we would be back in, maybe, a week. He went out to practice, and there was a little more swelling, and it kind of nagged him. We were a little surprised he wasn't able to go, so we got an MRI done and found out he had a high ankle sprain. They take a little longer. I don't know if you'll see him tonight, and I'd be a little surprised if you saw him this weekend."
Syracuse wraps up its regular season with three opponents from the Big East in Rutgers on Saturday, No. 1 Notre Dame on April 30 and St. John's on May 7. Desko said the timetable for Lade's return is still in flux, but he said there was no consideration at this point to keeping Lade out until the NCAA tournament.
"I doubt it would be that long," Desko said. "Even with that type of injury, they can nag you, but we haven't asked him in any way to push it. It's been strictly his decision. He knows his body and how he feels, and we rely on the trainers. If he's at a point where he can't re-injure it from use, then we'd say, 'Go ahead.' But the team's been functioning. We gave up three goals to Providence [last Saturday]. So we're not going to push it in any way. I'd be very doubtful if it was all the way to the playoffs. That seems way too long."