Initially, Brian Williams didn’t think his wrist injury was all that bad.
“I figured it was just a sprain at first,” Williams said. “I’ve had quick sharp pains like that before, and it didn’t turn out to be that bad.”
Michael Cobbins knew.
“I’ve experienced something like that before,” Cobbins said with a wince. “Just hearing him yell like that, I knew something bad had happened.”
Cobbins, of course, was right, with his pal Williams suffering a season-ending injury, the result of him bracing the impact of an awkward fall following a dunk.
As I asked Williams what was wrong with his left (non-shooting) wrist, mentioning broken bones and torn ligaments and tendons, he nodded with each one.
“A little bit of everything,” he said.
Williams was set for surgery Wednesday inOklahoma City, where his surgeon would assess the full damage during the procedure. Still, they know it’s bad. And they know the rehab will be long.
Clearly a tough blow for Williams, coming off a strong second half of last season and returning as a starter.
A tough blow, too, for the Cowboys.
“We lost our best defender. Now somebody else is going to have to step up and be the best defender,” said Travis Ford. “Who’s that going to be? We lost probably our most high-energy guy, a guy who never got tired. And a guy who you could count on rebounding above the rim. And a guy I never ran any plays for, but he figured out how to average 12 points a game in conference play.
“So we’ve got some things we’ve got to account for.”
One of the Cowboy captains, Williams still has a role with this team, which is hoping to emerge from two disappointing seasons and make a run at moving up in the Big 12 and moving into the NCAA Tournament.
“I didn’t name him a captain of this basketball team just trying to be nice to him,” Ford said. “He earned it. He’s got a great amount of respect from his teammates. His teammates know he does everything the right way.
“He’s coach Williams at this point. It’s important that he’s around it.”
Williams, while disappointed, was already flashing that familiar and engaging smile of his, joining the Cowboys for their media day earlier this week.
“Being down about it won’t fix it,” Williams said. “I’m just focused on picking my guys up at this point.”