Dec. 30, 2008
ROCHESTER, Mich. - Senior forward Derick Nelson will miss the remainder of the season due to an injury he suffered back on Nov. 13th and will take a medical redshirt, announced by head coach Greg Kampe on Tuesday morning. Nelson, a native of Lansing, Mich., tried to return with eight and nine minutes in the Golden Grizzlies' last two games, but the pain was too much and a decision was made to try and return next season.
"He experienced a great deal of pain in the State game, and afterwards he told me he couldn't go," said Kampe. "We knew that it was going to be a long healing process. The bottom line is that it just hurts him too much and we are not going to do anything that would jeopardize his career. He is going to take the redshirt and come back next year, and I don't want to think about next year yet, but obviously it's going to make us better next season."
Nelson averaged 17.3 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game last season en route to garnering first team All-Summit League honors. In the preseason this year, he was tabbed as a first team selection by the league coaches and media. Nelson reached the 1,000-point plateau last season and is eighth all-time in Division I history with 1,106 points. He is just the second Grizzly to score 1,000 points and grab over 600 rebounds (Cortney Scott, 2003-05).
Oakland played the first 13 games of the season without the services of Nelson and posted a record of 7-6. The 6 foot, 5 inch, slasher broke his foot on Nov. 13th and made his return on Dec. 22nd at Eastern Michigan. He ended the game with two rebounds and no points. He started against the 11th-ranked Spartans, once again not scoring and committed three turnovers before heading to the bench for good.
"The team handled it badly when they first learned of it, but then we got used to it," said Kampe. "Then when it looked like he was coming back we were trying to figure out how the rotation was going to change. Now that he is done for the season, we can concentrate on the task at hand. The team knows that and understands that. The guys that are coming back next year are glad that he is going to be there, and the seniors are down but also know that there's nothing they can do about it, that's the way life is and are moving forward."