Hoosiers’ Patberg recovering from separated shoulder

Ali Patberg Submitted photo

The playing status of Indiana University point guard Ali Patberg is uncertain after she separated her right shoulder in Wednesday night’s loss to Minnesota.

Patberg, a redshirt junior point guard from Columbus North and the Hoosiers’ leading scorer, was injured after being tripped while driving to the basket midway through the third quarter of a 65-61 defeat. She did not return to the game.

“She kind of fell on her right side and dislocated her shoulder,” said her father, Ron Patberg. “At least the initial thought was that it had gone back in place the right way, and there was no bone damage or cracks in her bone, which is a good sign.”

Ron Patberg said the shoulder was separated for about 30 minutes, and that Ali was in a substantial amount of pain.

“She was more concerned about playing,” he said. “That was the first thing — ‘Can I go back in and play?’”

Ali Patberg had scored eight points and grabbed five rebounds in 24 minutes at the time she was injured. After that, IU coach Teri Moren used a point guard-by-committee approach the rest of the game.

“It was difficult to play for the first time without our point guard, and I thought Bendu (Yeaney), Jaelynn (Penn), Grace (Berger) and Keyanna (Warthen) did a good job of being able to play without our normal point guard in there,” said in the postgame news conference. “I am really proud in a difficult situation how they handled themselves. Right now, we just have to keep our fingers crossed and pray that whatever we find out with Ali is short term.”

The Hoosiers (17-7, 6-6 Big Ten) have six games left in the regular season. Their next game is at 7 p.m. Monday at Michigan State in a game that will be televised on the Big Ten network.

“It’s kind of up in the air,” Ron Patberg said. “They said the way it looked from a fracture standpoint, she can go out and play with it, and hopefully, it won’t pop out again, and no more damage could be done. If there isn’t structural damage, hopefully, she can get back and contribute this year.”

The injury is the latest setback for the 2015 Miss Basketball since graduating from North. She tore an ACL in preseason practice as a freshman at Notre Dame and sat out that season.

Ali Patberg missed a few games with an illness during her redshirt-freshman year at Notre Dame. She then transferred to IU and sat out last season.

This season, Ali Patberg leads the Hoosiers in scoring (15.4), assists (5.0) and minutes per game (35.3). She also is averaging 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals a game.

“It’s a setback,” Ron Patberg said. “She’s pretty torn up. Obviously, she wants to play. If she can get back, she will get back. Basketball is a physical game, and injuries will occur, and she just got on the wrong end of luck. Things like this happen, and unfortunately, it’s happened to her a little too much. But she’ll come back stronger than ever.”