Kaneland sophomore guard Dylan Vaca was expected to be a big contributor to the Knights boys basketball team this season, but the sharpshooter from Sugar Grove has seen his progress stalled by a broken right wrist. Vaca, though, hopes to return to the Knights’ lineup soon to boost Kaneland for the stretch run. Shaw Media sports editor Jay Schwab and Vaca discuss the recovery timetable, what he’s been working on while wearing a cast and the Knights’ leadership. The following is an edited transcript:
Where are you at with your [wrist] health?
I’m really at the last stage. I get my cast off next week, so after that, depending on how it feels and everything, I’m going to try to get back around two weeks after the 30th, when I get my cast off. So I should be back around middle of February.
Tell me about the play when you got hurt.
Well, we were in our first game at the Plano Christmas tournament Dec. 26. We were playing Newark, and at the end of the second quarter, I was guarding their point guard, and I took a charge, and I kind of just fell back and landed on my wrist trying to brace my fall. I just landed wrong with all that weight. I hadn’t broken a bone before. … It hurt really bad and I couldn’t play the rest of the game, and I went to the doctor afterward, and he said it was broke.
Some reward for taking a charge, right?
Yeah, I guess so.
What’s it been like to have to sit these several weeks?
It’s been hard. It really stinks sitting out this many games, especially in the middle of the season. … You just want to be out there playing and helping the team, but I’m just excited to get back to playing and looking forward to the rest of the season.
What’s rehab like? What can you really be doing now?
Right now, I have my cast on, so I go to practice and work on my left hand because that’s one of the things I really need to work on so I can get my left hand better.
But after my cast is off, I don’t think I’ll need much rehab for my wrist. I think I’ll just have to wait a couple weeks until it strengthens back.
When you do return, what do you think you’ll add to the mix?
When I return, I hope to add more shooting to the team because that’s something we need. We have John [Pruett] attacking the rim and leading the team right now. I think when I get back, I can add more depth to our shooting and, hopefully, add more scoring, but we have had some kids on the the team step up.
Ty Carlson has hit so many big shots this year. How clutch is that kid?
Ty is a special player. He’s a three-sport athlete. He’s always in shape, always busy with sports. That just shows you how hard he works. In practice, he just wants to take that shot. He’s always one of the first ones in the gym practicing his shot, so he deserves it. You can tell he puts a lot of work in.
What are you most looking forward to about the rest of the year?
Just getting back with my team and finishing out the year strong, trying to win the conference and, hopefully, go farther in the playoffs this year because we have a really strong senior class this year. I’m hoping we can get a lot farther.