Not too long ago, Mississippi State basketball looked like it would be ready to head into the season with a full roster and some experience as well. That all changed Monday when the team announced that Craig Sword and Johnny Zuppardo had suffered injuries before the preseason slate of games begin.
Of the injuries, Zuppardo's sounds like it will keep him on the shelf much longer than Sword's. The junior college transfer who won a state championship at St. Stanislaus College will miss the entire season after an MRI revealed he had a torn ACL and meniscus in his left knee.
Sword's injury will require surgery as well, and the junior will undergo that surgery Thursday in Nashville. Sword, Mississippi State's leading scorer last year, will have a procedure to treat irritated nerves caused by a bulging disk in his back, and he is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
That time table all but means Sword will miss the exhibition opener against Delta State on November 6, and it calls his participation in the season opener against Western Carolina on November 14 into serious doubt.