Only once before he came to Vanderbilt did A.J. Ogilvy sustain a concussion.
It was the result of an incident that also left him with a broken wrist and — consequently — a cast on his hand. By the time the wrist healed, the brain injury had long since passed.
After his second concussion, which he sustained last month as a result of a collision with a teammate on the first day of formal practices for the 2009-10 season, all he had was time on his hands. The junior center soon found out there’s no way to know for sure how much time it takes to get recover.
“I knew that I had to wait for the symptoms to clear before I could get back to practice,” the Commodores’ junior center said. “It was a bit of a waiting game.”
Ogilvy finally returned to practice last week and has had no setbacks since then.
That means he is available Tuesday when Vanderbilt plays Alabama-Huntsville (7 p.m., Memorial Gymnasium) in its only exhibition contest this year. All he needs to do now is get back his timing.
“Physically, I think he’s fine,” coach Kevin Stallings said. “I don’t think there’s any problem with his concussion or anything like that. I think we’re past that stuff.
“We just have some work to do with him relative to timing issues and things like that. His timing’s not all the way back yet and neither is his conditioning. We’re probably still a week or so from him being all the way back to where we need him.”
Ogilvy led the Commodores in scoring (15.4 points per game) and rebounding (7.1) last season despite being slowed by a foot injury and illness, both of which occurred during non-conference play. Because of the health issues, he sat out two contests and was kept out of the starting lineup in another.
He might not look like that player against Alabama-Huntsville, a Division II program, though.
“It’s just missed practice time and the loss of habits that are created by practice, the reps and the things you need in order to keep your timing and to improve your habits,” Stallings said.
Last week Ogilvy was one of eight players named to the preseason All-SEC first team and the only VU player to earn any preseason all-conference recognition.
He was an all-conference second-team selection following each of the past two seasons as well as a unanimous SEC All-Freshman selection in 2008.
“I’m not hoping for anything for myself this season,” he said. “I just hope the team reaches its potential. I think if we all work really hard and come together then we’ve got big things we can do this year.”
Time will tell what happens.