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Infection caused JayVaughn Pinkston to fear he was losing his leg

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

The 6-7 Pinkston led Villanova in scoring last season, and after a health scare, is good to go again. (USATSI)
JayVaughn Pinkston led Villanova in scoring last season, and after a health scare, is good to go again. (USATSI)

Villanova's considered a possible NCAA tournament team this season thanks, in part, to big man JayVaughn Pinkston.

Over the summer, Pinkston had times when it felt like he wasn't coming back to the team, though. Hell, there was terror he would never be able to walk normally again -- because he wasn't sure he was making it to the fall with both of his legs. Philly.com has passed along Pinkston's scary run-in with MRSA, a staph infection that required "emergency surgery" at the end of August. He said there was terror of losing his leg.

Yikes. Can you imagine? Here how it set up for Pinkston.

JayVaughn Pinkston didn't think much about the sore on his right leg until one summer day back at his Brooklyn home when he couldn't get out of bed. The Villanova junior forward's concern turned into full-blown fear when, after a series of doctor visits, Pinkston was found to have contracted MRSA, a staph infection resistant to antibiotics. ...
"I was just scared that I might lose my leg because my leg had turned orange," Pinkston said Tuesday at the Wildcats' media day at the Davis Center. "There was a lot of pus in there, so I was just nervous about losing my leg. For the first couple of days [after surgery], I couldn't move. I didn't start moving around, really walking around on my own, until the fifth day after surgery. But it feels better now, no problems."

Good to hear that he's not only past the mend, but already fully recovered by this point. The origin of the infection remains a mystery, which is scary in its own right. Pinkston put up 13.3 points per contest last season, leading Villanova in scoring.

Wildcats coach Jay Wright said the scare was oddly enough a blessing in disguise.

"It was a great experience for him because it was really humbling . . . really eye-opening," he told Philly.com. ""There might have been a day or two where he thought, 'I might not play.' That's why I say it was good. He and I talked about it. It brings him to reality and what's important in life."

Villanova will start the season Friday, Nov. 8, against Lafayette.

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