'Nova's Ray taken to hospital following eye injury

Updated: March 11, 2006, 1:36 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Villanova guard Allan Ray was taken to a hospital after injuring his right eye early in the second half of the Wildcats' Big East tournament game against Pittsburgh on Friday night.

A Villanova spokesperson confirmed that Ray was taken to the hospital.

Villanova head coach Jay Wright told reporters after the game that Ray is expected to be released later Friday night. Ray suffered a soft tissue injury, but his vision has returned after it had temporarily left him at the basketball arena. Wright said Ray may be available for first-round NCAA Tournament action, which begins on Thursday.

"He couldn't see when he was here," Wright said. "And being there, they did a great job there. Everybody did a great job. Our trainer got right to him. ... An ophthalmologist rushed across town and examined him. Now they said his vision's good and they're going to release him."

Wright said "it actually looked a lot worse than it was. It'll be a day-to-day prognosis now, but it's much, much better than they initially anticipated."

Ray, the No. 2 Wildcats' second-leading scorer, was hit in the face by Pittsburgh guard Carl Krauser when they scrambled for a loose ball in front of the Villanova bench 32 seconds into the second half. Pitt was leading 32-21 at the time. Ray was helped off the court to the locker room with his eye covered.

The 6-foot-2 senior was a first-team All Big East selection and averaged 19.4 points and 4.0 rebounds this season. He had four points against Pitt before leaving the game.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press