Junior guard has severe case of whiplash

Originally Published: January 21, 2004
ESPN.com news services

Travis Diener's neck injury isn't serious and the Marquette guard might be able to play Saturday against DePaul.

``All things considered, and having had a chance to see on tape the forceful nature of the collision, we are extremely thankful that Travis is going to be OK,'' coach Tom Crean said Wednesday.

Diener is listed as day-to-day. It's not known when he'll return to practice.

Diener was re-examined Wednesday by Marquette's sports medical staff after returning from Charlotte, N.C. He was taken off the court on a stretcher during an 84-76 loss to Charlotte on Tuesday night.

Diener, who was diagnosed with hyperflexion, or a severe case of whiplash, did not sustain neuromuscular damage when Charlotte center Calvin Clemmons went for a fake and came down hard on top of Diener with 13:03 left.

Diener's neck appeared to snap back before he fell hard to the floor. He stayed on the floor for more than eight minutes, but was moving his legs throughout. A medical crew decided to strap Diener into a stretcher and immobilize his neck.

Charlotte's home crowd cheered Diener before he was wheeled off the court and sent to a local hospital. He was released after having an X-ray and CT scan.

"He certainly didn't want to leave but I gave him the ultimatum that there's no choice here," Marquette coach Tom Crean told reporters after the game. "Your career and your season is far more important than one half of basketball."

According to Crean, Diener was sitting upright wearing a neck brace and watching film on the team's return flight to Milwaukee late Tuesday night. Diener watched video of the play in which he was hurt.

Diener, a native of Fond du Lac, Wis., came into the game averaging 17.5 points and 6.3 assists.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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