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Skinner to see eye specialist about injury; weighs options

Nov. 6, 1997

By Wade A. Barrow

Sports Editor for The Baylor Lariat

Senior center Brian Skinner will see a specialist in Austin to diagnose an injury to his right eye he suffered in practice last week. The injury has left Skinner, at times, with blurry and double vision.

'Its not necessarily scary,' Skinner said. 'I'm looking at it as possibly something that is going to hold me out a little longer than I expected. It's a delicate situation. I won't know definitely until I go down and talk to a specialist.'

A doctor early this week said Skinner has three possibilities. He could play after resting for a few weeks. Another option is letting Skinner play with a face mask like the one Bill Lambier made famous.

A third option, and perhaps most devastating for the Bears, is that the injury will require surgery and Skinner will be out indefinitely.

'Right now Brian is chomping at the bit, but we're not going to do anything until they give us the okay,' Head Coach Harry Miller said.

Skinner is currently limited to non-contact drills during practice. The injury occurred last week when Skinner took an elbow to the right eye in a scrimmage situation.

'At first I was really stressed out about it and wondering what the doctor was going to say and the worst possible scenario,' Skinner said. 'Right now I'm just sort of taking everything at its own pace. I'm not really worried about it. Things will happen in time.'

Skinner, who led the Bears in scoring, rebounds and blocks last season, will not play in Friday's scrimmage but may be cleared to play soon, depending on the doctor's recommendation.

The Baylor center has been named to several preseason All-American teams and hopes to help the Bears crack into the postseason after a hiatus of almost ten years. Skinner has had his share of injuries during his career, but he is optimistic about his prospects for this season.

'I've had everything from stress fractures to arthroscopic surgery,' Skinner said. 'So it's just another delay, and it's going to get better in time.'

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