LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville senior guard Mike Marra suffered what Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said likely is a career-ending knee injury in his first practice session back with the Cardinals today.
Marra had been rehabilitating from an ACL tear in his left knee suffered last November, and Pitino said he tore the same ligament today in a team workout.
Speaking with Terry Meiners of WHAS radio in Louisville, Pitino said that Marra would begin a transition to coaching.
"We've been working Mike Marra out individually for the last two months," Pitino told Meiners. "He'd passed all the tests. Literally, the first 10 minutes of practice (today) he blew out the same knee with another ACL."
Pitino said the injury was non-contact in nature, just a pivot that resulted in something in the knee snapping.
"These ACLs are the strangest thing," Pitino told Meiners. "In football, it happens with a clip. In basketball, it happens with no contact but just pivoting. . . . It's always with a pivot the other way. And (trainer) Fred (Hina) knows this, and they pivot for two months making sure it's strong enough, and go through a battery of tests, but it wasn't meant to be with Mike, and we're going to get him a head start in a different profession."
In fact, those were the words Pitino said Marra used in talking with Hina after the injury occurred.
"Mike told Fred, before I could even get in there, 'You know Fred, it wasn't meant to be. So I'll get a head start on coaching.' He didn't pound the table. I think he realized he was going to contribute in a small way physically, this will give him an opportunity, just like my son Richard in his senior year, this will give him a head start in coaching.
"Mike wants to be a coach," Pitino told Meiners. "I just told him, 'Mike, having all these injuries, you're not going to be a professional basketball player, so you're getting a year's head start on being a grad assistant in a top 10 program. You're starting your coaching career off a year early. You have to look at this as a positive. I know it's not right now, but in a week's time you'll be on the sidelines coaching as a grad assistant and you'll get a head start on everybody else."
Marra came to U of L with a reputation as a sharpshooter out of Northfield Mt. Herman School in Smithfield, R.I. He saw action in 27 games as a freshman and 82 of his 94 field-goal attempts that season were three-pointers. As his career went on, he became a better defender and rebounder, and Pitino praised his understanding of the game repeatedly. He scored in double figures in 11 games as a sophomore and had at least four assists in seven games.
Marra wasn't expected to start this season, and his chances for playing time were shrinking because of U of L's talent at the guard and small forward positions, but Marra brought experience and a great understanding of Pitino's attack.
Pitino spoke to Meiners barely an hour after the workout, and no official diagnosis of the knee had been offered. Derek Anderson, a Louisville native, former University of Kentucky star and 11-year standout in the NBA, Tweeted to WDRB after a post announcing the injury, "Tell him not to give up, because I had 2 ACL surgeries on both knees and played 11 years in the NBA. I know the mental pain too!"
Copyright 2012 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.
Sign Up for the WDRB Sports Newsletter
Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:03 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:03:47 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- This has a familiar sound. Bobby Petrino takes over a program making a conference change and looks to lift it in stature.The new Western Kentucky University coach was at the ConferenceMore >>
In Eric Crawford's "Morning Line," Bobby Petrino says he's not patient and wants to get WKU "cranked up pretty good" in a hurry, plus John Calipari's storm donation and more.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 10:38 PM EDT2013-05-21 02:38:47 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Teddy Bridgewater doesn't ask for much. So when he told University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson that he wanted to ask somethingMore >>
Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is certainly going to be a Heisman Trophy candidate to start next season, but he has told coaches he doesn't want a Heisman publicity campaign.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 12:41 AM EDT2013-05-20 04:41:21 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The scene is always the same. After every University of Kentucky basketball home game, the coach walks across the Rupp Arena court, puts on his headset and starts talking withMore >>
Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari will do things a bit differently with his young but talented Wildcats team this season.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:54 AM EDT2013-05-18 11:54:38 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Longtime golf commentator and 1964 U.S. Open champion Ken Venturi died today, and there's nearly no need to add to the tributes that surely will come, because there's a greatMore >>
Ken Venturi left a lasting memory in Louisville when he opened Hunting Creek Country Club's championship course with a record that still stands, and with a simple gesture to a sportswriter 25 years later.More >>
Tuesday, May 14 2013 5:25 PM EDT2013-05-14 21:25:36 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- I like Andrew Wiggins. Here's a kid who didn't want to make a spectacle of his recruitment, despite being the top-ranked basketball recruit in the nation and being hailed as theMore >>
Eric Crawford surveys the carnage of the Andrew Wiggins circus, and ponders what it means for the future of civilization.More >>
Sunday, May 12 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-13 03:30:46 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Alabama football coach Nick Saban simply said out loud what people have been talking about for some time last week during a stop on his offseason "Crimson Caravan."RespondingMore >>
Alabama coach Nick Saban's idea for power conference football team to play only teams from other elite conferences sounds good -- but most programs would never accept it.More >>
Saturday, May 11 2013 10:26 AM EDT2013-05-11 14:26:43 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The NCAA basketball rules committee has wrapped up its most recent round of talks with more tweaks.It didn't reduce the shot clock, but it did try to streamline the video reviewMore >>
Ten suggestions to get the game of college basketball moving again. More >>