Villanova's Ray awaits MRI after tweaking knee

Updated: February 26, 2006, 8:41 PM ET
By Pat Forde | ESPN.com

STORRS, Conn. -- Villanova might have lost a whole lot more than a basketball game and the outright lead in the Big East on Sunday; it might have lost one of its best players for an unknown period of time.

Results of an MRI scheduled for Monday on guard Allan Ray's left knee will be anxiously awaited by the second-ranked Wildcats. Ray tweaked his knee in the final four minutes of the Wildcats' 89-75 loss to Connecticut. The Cats' second-leading scorer at 18.9 points per game said he hurt the knee when his right foot slid out from under him and he dragged his left leg.

Ray left the game and the bench to be evaluated in the dressing room and did not return.

"I felt it pop," Ray said. "That's why I was concerned."

Ray left Gampel Pavilion on Sunday evening with a slight limp, but said the knee was "feeling better than it did" when he first hurt it. He said he was wearing a compression sleeve on the knee.

After the game, coach Jay Wright called the injury a strain but acknowledged that the extent of it won't be known before Monday at the earliest.

Villanova has dealt with one major knee injury in 2005-06 when forward Curtis Sumpter blew a knee in October, costing him the entire season and necessitating 'Nova's unique four-guard starting lineup. Sumpter was one of the first to come to Ray's side when he went to the bench with the injury.

Another significant injury could conceivably scuttle one of the best seasons (22-3 overall, 12-2 Big East and tied with UConn) in Villanova history. When asked what he'd do if Ray is out for any period of time, Wright smiled.

"I'm not going to think about that yet," he said.

Pat Forde is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

ALSO SEE