Two weeks after a collision with the basket stanchion during a team workout opened up a seven-inch gash in his right shin deep enough that bones were visible, Wisconsin forward Mike Bruesewitz used a scale of 1 to 10 to assess the amount of pain he had felt.
"It was about a 3," he told Wisconsin's official site. "I didn't think that it hurt that bad."
If Bruesewitz's goal was to make everyone reading this feel like a wimp, then he certainly succeeded. A 3 out of 10 is the equivalent of a gnarly paper cut, a bee sting or a stubbed toe. It's definitely not a gash so deep it required surgery and more than 40 stitches to close and could have very easily have caused nerve or tendon damage had it been an inch or two in any direction.
Bruesewitz told reporters he sustained the injury when he made a steal in the open floor, made a beeline for the rim and got caught from behind by teammate Josh Gasser. They got tangled, sending Bruesewitz careening into the stanchion, his leg sliced open by an exposed piece of metal that was a part of the base.
"I didn't want him to look at his leg,'' Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan told ESPN.com. "I was worried he would go into shock.
"I'll be 65 in December and other than a car accident and seeing on the football field a guy breaking his leg with the bone sticking out, I haven't seen quite a cut like this, a wound like this. I hadn't seen it."
To hear a man as tough as Ryan say that, it puts into perspective how lucky Bruesewitz is to only be missing 4-to- 6 weeks. The rugged 6-foot-6 redhead could miss the first four games of the regular season, a setback but certainly not a devastating blow.
In the meantime, highly touted freshman forward Sam Dekker will have an opportunity to start and to get some early experience. That's something else for Wisconsin to be grateful for in addition to Bruesewitz not being more seriously hurt.
"It was unfortunate that it happened," Bruesewitz told Wisconsin's official site, "but I got really fortunate because it didn't nick or cut or sever any tendons or nerves. It got little bit of a muscle, but not much."
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