The Creighton women’s basketball team received some bad news prior to Monday night’s practice at D.J. Sokol Arena. Head Coach Jim Flanery announced that senior guard Marissa Janning will be sidelined for the remainder of the season.
Janning — a three-time first team all-conference selection and the 2014 Big East player of the year — suffered a fractured fibula in her left leg in the closing minute of the game against Eastern Washington on Nov. 28. Janning has not seen the court for the Bluejays since the injury.
Janning’s original diagnosis was that she would miss six to eight weeks, but the injury has been slow to heal and full recovery is expected to take significantly longer.
“This has been a very difficult process in a lot of ways,” said Janning. “I was hoping to get back on the floor with my teammates this season, but I’m so far from 100 percent it just isn’t possible.”
“Certainly Marissa didn’t want her senior year to look like this would have looked had she returned and hobbled through the rest of the season,” said Flanery. “Maybe she would have been 100% at some point, but I think that’s probably iffy.”
Janning played in the first six games of the season for the Bluejays, averaging 10.7 points and 5.2 assists in 30.8 minutes per game. She has not seen action in a Big East game yet this season.
Creighton has struggled thus far in games without its star guard running the offense, going 6-9 in games when Janning has not seen the floor.
“I don’t really know how to feel, because it’s a relief not having to necessarily think about it anymore, but to a certain extent I feel like I’m letting my teammates down,” said Janning.
Despite her disappointment, Janning understands that she is not yet healthy enough to be the reliable player she has historically been for the Bluejays.
“My lateral movement is still really bad; it’s really tough to do,” said Janning. “Even when I get running, I’m so slow — or at least I feel slow.”
“I’m not able to put a percentage on it, because I don’t really know since I’ve never really been injured, “ she added. “I don’t really know percentages, but if you asked me to play in a game there is no way I could.”
The loss of Janning comes as a big blow to the Jays, who have been plagued with injuries all season. They will now have to forge on without their most vocal leader and talented player.
The status of Janning’s return has been under speculation for weeks, and perhaps the team will now be able to move forward and focus on the rest of their season now that they know for certain she is out indefinitely.
Janning will attempt to receive a medical hardship waiver, which would allow her to return to action for Creighton next season as a fifth-year senior.