Bryant back after breaking arm three weeks ago

Updated: March 16, 2005, 9:20 PM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Saint Joseph's senior John Bryant was in the starting lineup Wednesday night, three weeks after his arm was broken on a hard foul ordered by Temple coach John Chaney.

Bryant received a standing ovation from the home crowd when he was introduced as the starting power forward before the Hawks played Hofstra in the NIT.

He hadn't played since Feb. 22 when Chaney sent in Nehemiah Ingram to play rough and commit hard fouls. Bryant, a 6-foot-7 forward, was knocked hard to the floor by the seldom-used 6-foot-8, 250-pound Ingram.

His right elbow heavily wrapped, Bryant joined the Hawks (19-11) in the pregame layup line before playing Hofstra (21-8). He also shot some free throws.

The referees smiled as they checked out Bryant's wrap when he came out with teammate Pat Carroll for captains meeting at midcourt.

"He's the emotional leader of the team. How great is that?" athletic director Don DiJulia said. "He's been working hard to get to this point so I'm not shocked."

Chaney was suspended for five games before returning to coach the Owls in their NIT loss Tuesday night. Chaney apologized to Bryant and his family and offered to pay any medical bills.

Bryant averaged 3.0 points and 2.6 rebounds in 24 games.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press