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Mad Ants
vs. Erie
When: 7 p.m. today
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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Fort Wayne’s Luke Harangody, a former standout at Notre Dame, has missed the Mad Ants’ past three games because of a knee injury.

Mad Ants forward Harangody hurting

Even though Luke Harangody ran the length of the Concordia Seminary gym floor during Monday’s practice, it still doesn’t guarantee that he’ll be in the lineup tonight when the Mad Ants face Erie tonight at Memorial Coliseum

“We’ll see how he feels in the morning,” Ants coach Duane Ticknor said late Monday afternoon. “It’s probably more of a long shot.”

While the rest of the team returned from a 12-day break in the schedule by splitting last weekend’s road swing through Erie, Pa., and Springfield, Mass., Harangody continued to rest a sore knee that forced him off the Coliseum floor Feb. 8 in a 125-103 loss to Rio Grande Valley.

He hasn’t played since. With nine minutes remaining in the third quarter against the Vipers, he hobbled off the court and was immediately examined by the team’s trainer.

“He said, ‘Take me out, coach, I’m hurting the team,’ ” Ticknor recalled. “For Luke to do that, you know it hurts, because he’s such a tough-minded guy. He tried to play through it the whole week. Finally, it got to the point to where he couldn’t take it anymore.”

As a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Harangody underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Nov. 16 and was released shortly after. Since Harangody joined the team in late December, the Mad Ants (16-17) are 10-6 with him in the lineup and he has led the team in scoring (20.1 points per game) and rebounding (12.3).

“I think the biggest thing for me right now is to get healthy and be 100 percent,” Harangody said before Monday’s practice.

“I haven’t been 100 percent yet. I may have come back from the surgery a little too quickly, but I was feeling good, though. Certainly it got harder and harder each game after that.”

Harangody’s effect was immediate. In his first game with the Ants, he had 19 points and 18 rebounds in a 107-97 victory over Texas. It was the first of an eight-game winning streak.

But the knee began to flair up in early February. In a home win over Canton, Harangody had 20 points and four rebounds. Two days later, in a loss to Sioux Falls, he didn’t play. Two days after that is when he limped from the floor against Rio Grande Valley.

“I’m frustrated, having to leave the team,” Harangody said. “We’ve been having a lot of success as a team, together. “It’s something that just keeps irritating me, and I can’t play to my full potential. When I’m on the court, I can’t give coach 100 percent, and I hate having that happen. It’s very frustrating.”

stwarden@jg.net

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