Budish out indefinitely after crash

by Austin Cumblad

A gashed up Zach Budish spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since laying down his moped Monday morning on 15th Avenue SE. Quarter moon scrapes below his lip and above his right eye framed a crimson scab high on his cheekbone; he could walk, but did so with the assistance of a single crutch. âÄúItâÄôs a right knee injury,âÄù Budish said, without elaborating. âÄúJust waiting a little to see what the doctors say and whatâÄôs going to happen next.âÄù The big questions âÄî How severe is the injury? Will it require surgery? Is it season-ending? âÄî still go unanswered. Multiple sources have reported that Budish suffered an ACL tear, but he declined to comment on the specific diagnosis for his knee. For now, heâÄôs out indefinitely, head coach Don Lucia said. Further tests and consultations are scheduled for the upcoming week and will map out treatment going forward. âÄúHeâÄôs wrestling with, âÄòDo you try to do some rehab or go right to surgery?âÄô âÄú Lucia said. If he picks rehab, Budish, a 6-foot-3, 221 pound sophomore could possibly return after Christmas, Lucia said, though heâÄôd forego any chance at a medical redshirt, which preserves a year of eligibility. If he undergoes surgery, heâÄôs done for the season. Yet somehow, Budish isnâÄôt even the most recent casualty in a GophersâÄô lineup thatâÄôs seemed recently to shrink by the day. A week and a half after fellow freshman Nick Bjugstad, Jake Parenteau contracted mononucleosis this week, Lucia said. âÄúBetween mono and mopeds, weâÄôre getting eaten up by non-hockey-related injuries,âÄù Lucia said. Sans Budish, Bjugstad, Parenteau and actually-injured-playing-hockey junior Nick Larson, Minnesota is down to 20 skaters. But the season marches on. The 17th-ranked Gophers (5-3-0 overall, 3-3-0 Western Collegiate Hockey Association) host No. 15 Wisconsin (5-2-1, 2-1-1 WCHA) at Mariucci Arena for a pair of 7 p.m. games, Friday and Saturday night. Both teams are hot off of sweeps, Minnesota on the road against Colorado College, the Badgers at home over Michigan Tech. The Gophers will try to build on their current three-game winning streak, and are confident they can do so despite a depleted lineup. âÄúThatâÄôs what you have a team for,âÄù senior winger Jacob Cepis, who has played on BudishâÄôs line for most of the season, said. âÄúThereâÄôs always got to be someone that can fill in.âÄù Regardless of injuries, Lucia and team stay positive If the Gophers are reeling after the loss of two more skaters, theyâÄôre certainly not showing it. Lucia said his team was in good spirits âÄî why wouldnâÄôt they be after scoring 13 goals and sweeping on the road? âÄî and the 12-year head coach was rather chipper himself on Wednesday. He ribbed the gathered media on a number of topics. Asked about how the goaltender competition between senior Alex Kangas and junior Kent Patterson is stacking up, Lucia said, âÄúWe will play [a goalie] each night, I guarantee it,âÄù adding that there was a good chance that both goaltenders would see time. On what led to BudishâÄôs crash: âÄúI donâÄôt think he was texting and eating.âÄù On Bjugstad and Parenteau contracting mono within a week and a half of each other: âÄúI hope they donâÄôt have the same girlfriend.âÄù