The injury bug bites Iowa State one more time

Redshirt junior Todd Small faces off against Jack Skudlarczyk during Iowa State’s 18-16 victory over No. 16 Northern Iowa on Feb. 16 at Hilton Coliseum.

Stephen Mcdaniel

With one dual left in the season for Iowa State, all eyes were looking to the upcoming trips to Tulsa, Oklahoma, for the Big 12 tournament and Minneapolis for the NCAA tournament.

Amidst a close dual between the Cyclones and the Bison, a devastating injury struck the Cyclones that resulted in one of their ranked guys losing by injury default.

That guy was No. 16 Todd Small, who was slated to have an important dual against North Dakota State’s No. 13 ranked Cam Sykora.

The Sunday night matchup provided a golden opportunity for Small to add one more signature win under his belt, especially after suffering a tough 4-0 decision loss against an unranked opponent in Missouri’s Allen Hart during Saturday’s dual.

Small came out firing against Sykora, recording a takedown on his highly-ranked foe. It was a takedown that Sykora was able to escape from roughly 14 seconds later.

It was at the 1:36 mark that everything went sour for Iowa State.

Sykora recorded a takedown on Small, but in the process of getting taken down, Small suffered a gruesome leg injury.

Hilton Coliseum, Iowa State and North Dakota State members went silent when Small unleashed a scream that signaled just how bad he was injured.

Iowa State was granted injury time, but the match ultimately resulted in Sykora winning by injury default and Iowa State’s coaching staff not being too thrilled about what had just happened.

“I’m going to bite my tongue so I don’t get a Big 12 penalty, but I’m not very happy about the way that happened,” Head Coach Kevin Dresser said. “Those guys need to take better care of our athletes.”

Small was helped off the mat but wasn’t able to put much pressure at all on the leg in question.

Injuries like this have plagued Iowa State all throughout its season.

Dating back to before the season even started, the returning starter at 133, Austin Gomez, suffered a concussion that resulted in the redshirt sophomore to earn a medical redshirt.

During the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, redshirt junior Jarrett Degen suffered a shoulder injury that sidelined him for close to two months and has been using a shoulder brace since his return against Fresno State at the end of January.

Most recently, redshirt freshman David Carr suffered a minor leg injury that caused him to miss a majority of Big 12 duals and recently returned during the weekend.

“It was a tough season, just from health and injuries,” Dresser said. “Just to show everybody what the heck the kind of season we’ve had is what we saw at 133.”

The diagnosis of Small’s injury hasn’t been confirmed, but Dresser mentioned that knee issues haven’t been a new problem when it came to Todd Small, which was the reason why Small consistently taped up his knee.

The timing of this blow couldn’t be worse for Iowa State.

In two weeks, the Cyclones will be making the trip out to Oklahoma and competing in the Big 12 tournament, where Small was going to be a key piece for the Cyclones.

Two weeks following that, Iowa State will travel north to Minnesota to take part in the NCAA tournament that’s being hosted at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Dresser and company are hopeful that Small can make the return in time.

“We got our fingers crossed that there’s not too much damage, I’m sure he’s going to be off the mat for a couple days,” Dresser said. “Obviously we need to try to get him ready for the Big 12s, so it’s too early to tell, but as you could probably hear, he was in a lot of pain.”