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Mississippi State guard Craig Sword named SEC Freshman of the Week despite left ankle injury




Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Mississippi State University guard Craig Sword wasn't aware Monday he had been honored by the Southeastern Conference as Freshman of the Week until he received a text message from team spokesperson Gregg Ellis. 


"I've got to move on from it and move on to the next game," Sword told the media Monday in the Humphrey Coliseum.  


Sword is the second MSU player to be recognized by the conference this season as Gavin Ware garnered the accolade the week of Dec. 24. 


There's a good chance Sword was too worried about getting the protective boot on his left foot and making it to class and treatment sessions with MSU trainer Scotty Johnson. 


In fact, in a game where he scored 16 points and grabbed four rebounds to go along with his two steals as MSU left the University of Georgia with a 72-61 victory, Sword said he played on a left ankle "he couldn't even feel" because of the tape and ankle brace he was wearing. 


MSU coach Rick Ray said Monday Sword hadn't practiced the two days before the win at Georgia and would be at best "limited" in the days leading up to a home contest Wednesday night against the University of Alabama (8 p.m., Comcast SportsSouth). 


"They're looking okay without me right now because we're used to practicing with just eight players anyway," Sword said with a laugh. 


Ray has said he anticipates Sword, who is averaging 9.6 points per game and is fifth in the SEC in steals with two a game, will play against the Crimson Tide (9-6, 1-1 in SEC). The Bulldogs offense needs his dribble penetration to continue shooting it at the 42.7 percent they've averaged after the first conference games of the season. 


"To have Craig Sword be able to play that basketball game on a sprained ankle like he did shows his toughness," Ray said Monday. "We had no indication of how he would be able to play or if he would be able to play due to the ankle. I just think this it's a phenomenal thing for Craig to come in and fight like that and play for our team. Not just play, but play well." 




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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