PROVO -- The same foot injury that forced BYU guard Michael Vranes to sit out his junior season last year will also prevent him from playing his senior season in 2001-02, announced BYU Head Basketball Coach Steve Cleveland.
"Unfortunately, Michael will not be returning to complete his senior season because his foot has not responded to the point he can play basketball," Cleveland said. "He still has a difficult time walking without pain. He's going to finish school this year and try to get his foot to the point where he can walk without pain. He's obviously very disappointed, but it's really a quality of life issue. He just needs to be able to get his foot back to where he can carry on a normal life."
Vranes has worked with several top specialists around the country in an attempt to repair damage to his left foot, which he injured in the spring of 2000.
"He's had the best foot specialists in the country helping him," Cleveland said. "It's a complex issue. He has nerve damage and bone damage. His foot just isn't responding the way Michael or the doctors had hoped."
A starter as both a freshman and sophomore, Vranes averaged 9.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists over his two seasons and was regarded by many to be the best defensive perimeter player in the Mountain West Conference his sophomore season. He recorded career highs of 21 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
"Michael is certainly a guy I thought would play a lot of minutes for us this season," Cleveland said. "He played a big role for us at both guard positions as a freshman and sophomore and would have played a big role this season, especially at the point. It's unfortunate but we all just have to go forward and make the best of the situation. My biggest concern is for Michael to get his foot back to a more normal condition."
Vranes has experienced several foot injuries dating back to his prep days at Taylorsville High School in suburban Salt Lake City. After signing with BYU, Vranes received a medical redshirt in 1996-97 due to an injury to his right foot, the same foot he injured in high school. After serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he played two seasons in 1998-99 and 1999-2000 before suffering his current injury to his left foot during a pickup game in the spring of 2000.