By Travis Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
Centre Daily Times
UNIVERSITY PARK One wrestler is on the mend. Another is on the shelf.
No. 5 Penn State (1-1, 0-1) could be without starting 141-pounder Sam Sherlock after the redshirt freshman suffered a left ankle injury during Sunday's Nittany Lion Open.
Sherlock was in a walking boot at the team's practice on Tuesday and is questionable for Penn State's dual at No. 10 Lehigh (5-2, 1-0 EIWA) on Friday night.
"That doesn't look good - a guy's walking around in a boot - but it's more of just keeping the swelling down and making the recovery as quick as possible," Penn State coach Cael Sanderson said.
Sanderson was optimistic about Sherlock's availability for Friday, saying that Sherlock will likely wrestle depending on how bad Penn State needs him, although Sherlock wasn't able to work out with the team on Monday or Tuesday.
Sherlock's status moving forward will depend on a few different mitigating factors.
First, Sherlock said, he'll need to see how the injury - suffered in a consolation match against Rutgers' Anthony Perrotti after Sherlock started the tournament 3-1 - responds to twice-a-day rehabilitation treatments.
"Right now we're just working on rehabing it," Sherlock said. "I'm not worrying about wrestling live too much, just taking a day or two off isn't going to be that big. But we just want to see how long (until the boot comes off) first."
Secondly, a suitable replacement must be found for the slot if Sherlock is unable to go.
Likely, that man will be junior Bryan Pearsall.
Pearsall was locked in a tight battle with Sherlock early in the year for the starting spot until Sherlock beat Pearsall in a wrestle-off. Pearsall is 2-3 on the season thus far in open tournaments.
"Pearsall is a guy that wants a chance to wrestle. ... It's an opportunity for Pearsall if he gets that chance to go see what he can do in a big dual meet," Sanderson said. "It seems like he's been able to step it up when he's on the team and wrestling for Penn State in a dual meet. So I would expect that same thing out of him. He's a solid kid and he knows what he wants to do and he has to just be very disciplined in his style and wrestle in the areas that are in his strengths and he can win matches."
Meanwhile, 133-pound starter Derek Reber said he is feeling no symptoms from a sprained ankle he sustained against No. 4 Minnesota on Nov. 20 and plans to be in the lineup Friday.
Reber seemed to be in top form at the Nittany Lion Open, winning three bouts by a combined score of 20-3 and advancing to the 133-pound quarterfinals against Columbia's Kyle Gilchrist before forfeiting his way out of the bracket.
Tags: Bryan Pearsall, Cael Sanderson, Derek Reber, Sam Sherlock