Here we go again.
Over the last two years, it seems that the Notre Dame men’s basketball season isn’t official until guard Robby Carmody suffers a serious injury.
The 2020-21 season now is official after Carmody suffered a fractured kneecap according to two sources close to the program. Carmody underwent surgery Wednesday.
Carmody was injured recently simply by jumping and landing during basketball-related activities. He’s expected to return in December. A broken kneecap generally takes up to eight weeks to heal following surgery.
This was a big year for Carmody, not only to earn some minutes in the backcourt rotation, but to prove that he could stay healthy.
“I have a lot of hope for Robby Carmody, but also concerns because he’s never been available to us (for an entire year),” Irish coach Mike Brey told the Tribune in July. “I would love to see him coming off the bench with this nucleus and doing what we’ve seen him do in little spurts.”
“He’s got to stay healthy,” Brey said. “Business is business.”
For Carmody, it’s been a tough business with the latest setback in a college career that’s been twice delayed in getting off the ground by injury.
A junior academically, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Carmody remains a freshman athletically. He’s played in 16 career games (nine as a freshman, seven as a sophomore) with averages of 4.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 11.6 minutes per game. He had been on the recovery road back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Carmody suffered that injury in the closing seconds of December’s 21-point loss at Maryland, where he drove baseline and attempted to dunk.
He scored a career high 13 points in the home opener against Robert Morris. He then missed early non-conference games with a shoulder contusion and concussion protocol. He averaged 5.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in 13.8 minutes over nine games last season.
In 2018, Carmody became the first true freshman since Torin Francis in 2002 to start the season’s first game. He played in six more before being diagnosed with a slight labrum tear in his left shoulder. Carmody underwent surgery in December 2018 and sat out the rest of the season.
Carmody’s injury leaves Notre Dame with nine available scholarship players heading into the official start of practice, which is Oct. 14. A 10th scholarship player – guard Trey Wertz – is sitting out the season after transferring from Santa Clara, where he played two years. Notre Dame could have the option of applying for a waiver from the NCAA for Wertz to play immediately. The team’s 11th player is walk-on guard Elijah Morgan.
As a prep senior, Carmody was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Pennsylvania after averaging 31.1 points, 14.1 rebounds, 4.3 steals and 1.6 blocks for Mars High School, where he was coached by his father, Rob. Carmody’s younger brother, Michael, is a freshman offensive lineman on the Irish football team.