Duke's Thomas Opts for Foot Surgery, Out Indefinitely
The injury bug has bitten the Duke women's lacrosse team again. Senior All-American midfielder Kat Thomas has opted to have surgery after spraining her foot the first week of preseason. A timeline for her recovery has not yet been determined, according to a report by The Duke Chronicle.
The Blue Devils, ranked No. 4 in Lacrosse Magazine's preseason poll, opened the 2012 season Saturday with a 25-3 rout of Bucknell, setting a team record for goals in a game. But the road gets tougher from here. Duke faces a three-game road swing at William and Mary, Vanderbilt and Richmond before returning home for back-to-back games against No. 1 Northwestern and No. 2 Maryland.
The loss of Thomas, a 5-foot-11 force for the Blue Devils on draws (62 in 2011) and on offense (45 goals), will put more onus on Tewaaraton Award finalist Emma Hamm.
The Blue Devils have had to overcome significant injuries before. All-American midfielder Sarah Bullard missed seven games with a stress fracture in 2011, when Duke was also without starting defender Caroline Spearman. Hamm and goalie Mollie Mackler missed most of the 2010 season with injuries. In 2009, preseason All-American and Tewaaraton Trophy finalist Carolyn Davis was lost after the first round of the NCAA tournament. She was also hurt in the 2007 NCAAs. In between, the Blue Devils lost then-national preseason player of the year Caroline Cryer to an injured foot in 2008.
Despite these injuries, Duke has advanced to the NCAA semifinals five of the last seven years, including a 14-8 loss to Maryland in 2011. The Blue Devils have never played in a national championship game.
"We've had a couple of strange, weird injuries," head coach Kerstin Kimel said in a March 2011 interview with LaxMagazine.com. "One of our big things is to be able to overcome."