August 24, 2012

MVP Mundorf Suffers Injury in Outlaws' Practice

Denver Outlaws attackman Brendan Mundorf walked gingerly and appeared to be in pain after the Outlaws practice Friday, but said he was "fine" and that the lower leg injury was "just a bruise."
© John Strohsacker/

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Recently named Major League Lacrosse MVP Brendan Mundorf suffered what appeared to be a left foot or ankle injury during the Denver Outlaws' practice Friday afternoon ahead of Saturday's MLL semifinal against the Long Island Lizards.

In a live 6-on-6 drill during the early part of practice at Harvard Stadium, Mundorf appeared to get hit on the outside of his left foot with a stick. There was some confusion as to how the injury occurred, but Mundorf did not roll his ankle. He limped gingerly toward midfield and eventually sat on the turf where the Outlaws' training staff attended to him. He was seen pointing at his foot below the ankle, and he took off his cleats and socks.

Mundorf briefly re-entered practice for about 10 minutes — while Denver walked-through its offensive sets — before sitting out for good. Afterward, he walked gingerly to the locker room and emerged with an Ace bandage on his ankle and shoelaces undone.

Asked how he felt, Mundorf said he was "fine" and downplayed the injury, but he was still walking with a limp and appeared to be in pain.

"I just got checked in the side of my leg. It's not even really my ankle. It's fine," Mundorf said. "We already [got it checked out]. It's just a bruise."

Should Mundorf be limited or not be able to play Saturday, it would be a big blow to the Outlaws' title chances. The offense is built around the seven-year veteran, who was named MVP on Thursday. With 59 points (32 goals, 27 assists), Mundorf ranked second in the league in scoring behind only Paul Rabil.

"It feels good," Mundorf said of winning the award, "but if you don't win a championship, it's not going to mean a damn thing."

Bayhawks' Smith Back in Action

Chesapeake Bayhawks faceoff specialist Alex Smith will show you the scars up and down his left arm. About a year ago, he had two ligaments removed from the inside of his left forearm and graphed into the elbow in that same arm, a procedure commonly referred to as Tommy John surgery. But he's able to play now.

He tore the ligaments in the elbow in the third game of the Bayhawks' 2011 season but played through the injury after an MRI revealed its extent. He opted to wait to have surgery until the last week of September, three weeks after the season ended in a MLL semifinal loss to the Cannons in Annapolis, Md.

Smith said full rehabilitation typically lasts 18 months, but Smith is back just under a year since surgery. He made his 2012 debut just two weeks ago in the Bayhawks' final regular season game, winning 9-of-18 faceoffs. Second-year pro Adam Rand had been the team's primary faceoff taker throughout the season.

"I've been doing a lot of weightlifting, doing a lot of exercises to get it back into shape," Smith said.

Bayhawks coach Dave Cottle said on Wednesday's MLL teleconference the team had not yet decided if Smith would play Saturday, but after Friday's practice Smith said he would indeed play.

"I am, yeah," he said.

2012 MLL Championship Weekend

at Harvard Stadium, Boston

Semifinals, Aug. 25

No. 1 Denver vs. No. 4 Long Island, 1 p.m. (ESPN2)

No. 2 Chesapeake vs. No. 3 Boston, Approx. 4 p.m.
(CBS Sports Network) Live Blog

Championship, Aug. 26

3 p.m. (ESPN2)

Bocklet's Hardened Hand

Denver long-stick midfielder Matt Bocklet broke his left thumb earlier this month and missed the Outlaws' final regular-season game against Chesapeake. On Friday, Bocklet practiced fully with a hard cast on his left hand under the glove. He also wore a roughly four-inch hardened plastic strip over the thumb portion of the glove. The thick plastic was fastened with two Phillips head screws.

"It's well-protected under there," Bocklet said, adding that he expected to play Saturday against Long Island.

Other Sights, Sounds and Observations

Cannons faceoff specialist Chris Eck (knee) did not practice with the team Friday. Eck did not play in Boston’s regular season finale. Backup John Ortolani did, winning 22 of 36 faceoffs against the Ohio Machine, and could be in line to start Saturday. ... MLL Defenseman of the Year, Lee Zink of Denver, was not in town yet for the Outlaws' practice on Friday, but is expected to play Saturday. ... Most of the Long Island Lizards bussed up to Cambridge, Mass., including head coach Joe Spallina. A few others flew or took the train. "Get that bus ride out of you," Lizards faceoff specialist Greg Gurenlian said while leading team stretches at the start of practice. ... Denver faceoff specialist Anthony Kelly, who was said to be dealing with a hamstring injury, showed no ill effects ... Bayhawks attackman Ben Rubeor is expected to be announced as coach of a Baltimore area high school boys' varsity team soon. ... Each team practiced 75 minutes. The Bayhawks were first, followed by Denver, Long Island and home-standing Boston. ... The weather forecast for the weekend here looks superb: highs near 80 degrees on Saturday and Sunday with no more than a 20 percent chance of rain. So likely no rain, much less a hurricane like last year in Annapolis, Md., when Saturday's pair of MLL semifinals was played through a State of Emergency in Maryland because of Hurricane Irene.

Check back to throughout the weekend for live coverage from MLL Championship Weekend.

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