Anthony Ashnault will miss Rutgers' first few competitions this year, according to a report on NJ.com. The 141-pound redshirt senior had two offseason surgeries that will require him to be out until sometime in December.
Rutgers coach Scott Goodale anticipates that Ashnault, a three-time All-American, will be back in time for the Scarlet Knights' first home dual of the year on Dec. 8 against Iowa. If he is not back in time for Iowa, the team's next competition is Midlands at the end of December.
A four-time undefeated state champion from South Plainfield, NJ, Ashnault enters his final season with an 84-15 career record.
Ashnault had surgery on both his shoulder and his knee, and his recovery is "ahead of schedule," according to Goodale. Since Ashnault is a redshirt senior, the coaching staff does not seem terribly concerned that he will miss the team's early competitions, which include a dual against Maryland at Yankee Stadium and the Journeymen Duals.
Goodale told Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com:
This guy has been through five years of this. He doesn't need to start the year wrestling. He doesn't need all those matches. He knows what he needs to do.It has been an offseason filled with storylines for the Scarlet Knights. They have had record season ticket sales, endured the months-long saga of Nick Suriano's transfer to Rutgers, and are expected to finish in the top 10 this year.
The injury to Ashnault will put a slight dent in Rutgers' claim to lightweight supremacy, at least early on in the year, but the additions of Suriano and new assistant Johhni DiJulius should prevent any major losses in the first few weeks of the 2017-18 season.