Shooting guard missed previous 22 games
By José Colorado
Twenty-two games, two-and-a-half months and a countless number of practices was what Carl English had missed out on.
But all of that is background noise for the moment as the Newfoundland basketball legend poured in 22 points on an efficient 50 per cent shooting in a triumphant return for the St. John's Edge's 101-94 victory over the KW Titans in Gm.1 of the NBLC Central Division Finals.
The fact that English, coming off of surgery to repair an ulnar collateral ligament tear in mid-February, remained determined to return this season is admirable but the manner in which he did so is remarkable.
Just consider that in a 16-year professional career, English has done and seen it all. And at 38-years-old he has nothing left to prove, making his resurrection all the more compelling.
In 14 games with the club this year English – who is averaging 15 points on 38.2 per cent shooting - has only shot above 50 per cent on four separate occasions, eclipsing the 20-point barrier – as he did versus the Titans in Gm.1 – the same number of times.
That's a far cry from his stellar 2017 - 2018 campaign in which the University of Hawaii at Manoa product averaged 23.6 points per game, 5.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists and was named league MVP in the process.
Much – if not the vast majority – of that regression must be chalked up to injuries.
After missing the opening two matches due to a "minor ankle procedure", English suited up in the succeeding seven games.
The shooter's strength still waned in his revamped foot however resulting in him missing the next eight games due to "precautionary rest."
He returned briefly on Jan. 19 but then was knocked out indefinitely with his latest thumb issue.
And with each substantial setback Edge fans must wonder how deep the fire still burned for a player who was openly pondering retirement prior to the season's start.
Having been out of game action for so long, it's likely English will still have his ups and downs in the games to come as he tries to establish a consistent rhythm with his running mates – many of whom come new to him.
But it's clear the former Team Canada member won't go down without a fight – and perhaps more importantly to his fans, until his hometown franchise notches its first championship in league history.