Discouraging injury news for Notre Dame hoops' Turner, Reimer

Ken Klimek Tribune Correspondent
ND Insider

SOUTH BEND — The Notre Dame women’s basketball team is not a victim of identity theft, but its identity surely will change.

The Irish may well be without two veteran post players, Brianna Turner and Taya Reimer, for an indefinite period of time. The status of starting post Brianna Turner, dealing with a shoulder injury, is not clearly defined, but she will not be playing Wednesday night when the Irish host No. 10 Ohio State, and likely won’t play in the immediate future — possibly the rest of the season.

“We will talk to the doctor again tonight, decide if surgery is needed, and then talk to her parents tomorrow, (Wednesday)” said Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw. "The meeting with the doctor and Turner’s parents will help determine if she is lost for the season or only for an indefinite period of time.

The injury came during a practice on Thanksgiving Day.

“She went up to block a shot in practice (before the Junkanoo Jam last weekend in Freeport, Bahamas) and immediately screamed in pain,” said McGraw of Turner’s injury.

The 6-3 Turner missed time a year ago with a shoulder injury and played much of the season with a harness. The new injury is to the same shoulder.

“She nearly blacked out. The whole gym went silent for about five minutes and the air was completely gone from the gym,” McGraw said.

Further altering the look of the No.3 Irish is the day-to-day status of junior Taya Reimer. Reimer has been logging some minutes, but “she felt a lot of pain after the UCLA game (last weekend),” said McGraw.

The 6-4 Reimer has been battling an Achilles heel problem since late last year and it was aggravated during the summer.

“She will not be able to go every day,” McGraw said.

The loss of both post players changes the look of the Irish drastically.

“We went from a guard oriented team before the season to a post oriented team and two weeks later back to a guard oriented team,” McGraw said.

Reimer also was to undergo another MRI to determine the extent of her problem. Her status Wednesday and after is questionable.

“The Achilles is a pretty tough thing to handle,” McGraw said. “A lot will depend on her tolerance for pain.”

Reimer, averaging just more than 15 minutes of playing time in the five games she has played, is averaging 6.3 points a game. She started 35 games last season and was at 10 points and six rebounds a game.

“She makes us better when she is in there,” said McGraw. “She knows where everyone should be on the floor and they know where she will be. She has been playing well in limited time, and we can do a lot more with Taya in the game.

Turner averaged 14.3 points and 6.8 rebounds in the four games she played. The Atlantic Coast Conference preseason player of the year, Turner also led the teams with 15 blocked shots in four games. She averaged 14 points and eight rebounds last season.

Notre Dame’s Brianna Turner talks to media during Notre Dame Women's Basketball Media Day on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, inside the Purcell Pavilion at Notre Dame in South Bend. SBT Photo/ROBERT FRANKLIN