WSU guard Faisal Aden, who suffered a non-contact knee injury in Thursday's game at Arizona, received the worst possible news today: After initially being diagnosed with an MCL sprain, Aden actually has suffered an ACL tear and will miss the remainder of the season, according to WSU.
It's always sad when something like this happens, but it's especially so when it brings a Cougar's career to an end. Beyond that, it seems especially cruel that Aden suffered the injury in his first game after being named Pac-12 player of the week following his huge role in leading WSU to upset victories over California and Stanford.
Aden really appeared to be turning a corner as a player into someone that could really help this team down the stretch. Now, Ken Bone will be left to once again try and find offense in other ways with a tough defensive club in USC coming to Pullman on Thursday.
I don't like to look for silver linings in something like this, but if you're looking for a reason to believe that WSU can perhaps come out stronger on the other side of this loss, take heart in the fact that the Cougars played very well in the trio of games Aden missed earlier this season (albeit against much weaker competition). The offense wasn't exactly stellar in his absence on Saturday against Arizona State, but I think it's safe to assume they'll be better prepared for the Trojans.
However, this does make the Cougars incredibly thin at guard, a position that seemed unusually deep before the season started. There's no timetable for Mike Ladd's return, which means really only Dexter Kernich-Drew is left to come off the bench behind starters Reggie Moore, DaVonte Lacy and Marcus Capers. I would assume this would mean an increased role for him, as well as Will DiIorio, although I'd prefer to see more of Patrick Simon instead.