The Butler Bulldogs have received some great news with the medical clearance of leading-scorer Rotnei Clarke.
Clarke, who suffered a neck injury back on Jan. 12 in a win against Dayton, has been sidelined for each of the team’s past three games. During that stretch, the Bulldogs went 2-1, but were upset earlier this week on the road at LaSalle.
Now, in their efforts to avoid back-to-back losses, Clarke is expected to be back in uniform on Saturday evening when the Bulldogs face Temple.
“Rotnei saw a spine specialist again this morning and everything looks stable and he has no symptoms, so he was cleared for full contact,” Butler head athletic trainer Ryan Galloy said. “We will evaluate him again tomorrow (Friday) and then make a decision about Saturday.”
Butler has seemingly not missed a beat without Clarke even despite the loss earlier this week. The Bulldogs were defeated in the waning seconds when Ramon Galloway scored on a lay-up. However, the loss did drop Butler to 3-1 in the conference, so the return of Clarke is certainly what the Bulldogs and their fans have been waiting for, considering a loss may have been prevented had he been able to play.
Clarke leads the team in averaging 16.3 points per game to go along with 2.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists. Following the injury, Clarke was transported to a local hospital after being removed from the court on a stretcher. Word came back within 24 hours that despite Clarke’s scary fall, there was no structural damage found.
His return to the court after only missing three games will certainly provide a great boost for Butler over the weekend, as Hinkle Fieldhouse will be happy to see his return to the court.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS