ORONO, Maine — Senior swingman Garet Beal of Beals Island, sidelined from the University of Maine men’s basketball team since preseason, underwent surgery Monday in Portland to repair a fractured bone in his right foot.
“It had been a lingering thing, and then within the first week of practice I came down on somebody’s foot and kind of knew something was wrong,” said Beal, a former star at Jonesport-Beals High School who was named the state’s Mr. Basketball and a Parade All-American in 2013 and was the Maine Gatorade Player of the Year in both 2012 and 2013.
“I went a couple of weeks trying to play on it, but then I had to make a decision because I just couldn’t continue playing on it.”
Beal has been plagued by injuries during his time at UMaine. He had a similar injury to his right foot last season, and while that didn’t require surgery he was able to play just 11 games with the Black Bears, including seven starts.
He also missed the first four games of the 2014-15 season because of a concussion and sat out several more games that campaign with a fractured rib.
Beal currently is wearing a cast on the injured foot, the start of what is likely to be an approximately eight-week recovery period. That timetable could return Beal to the active roster by mid- to late January.
“He’s obviously got to get through it, rehab and get back on his feet,” said UMaine coach Bob Walsh, “but it’s certainly not too late.”
Beal, a three-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine selection during his high school days, is one of two UMaine team captains now on the sidelines. Junior guard Aaron Calixte is out after suffering a fracture in his foot during a practice two weeks ago.
Another Black Bear, senior guard Troy Reid-Knight, also is sidelined for the season with an ankle injury.
Beal said it was unlikely he would be with the team for this weekend’s trip to Durham, North Carolina, to face fifth-ranked Duke at 5:30 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2), but he looks forward to returning to practice soon to support his teammates while he continues his rehabilitation.
A kinesiology and physical education (teaching and coaching) major, the 22-year-old Beal is on track to graduate from UMaine next spring.