Estrada joins growing men’s tennis injury list

South Florida men’s tennis coach Don Barr is worried for his team’s health before a two-match weekend.

“Our biggest concern is getting everybody healthy for the conference (championships),” Barr said.

With less than two weeks until the Big East championships, the No. 38 Bulls play at No. 19 Louisville at 10 a.m. Saturday and No. 55 Virginia Commonwealth at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Junior Thomas Estrada suffered a minor right wrist injury three weeks ago that has started to swell and affect his play, he said.

The Bulls fell 6-1 to No. 22 Notre Dame on Sunday and Estrada lost to the Irish’s Tyler Davis, 6-0 and 6-4.

“I think Louisville and Notre Dame are the hardest teams in our conference,” Estrada said. “We’ve got to practice to beat Louisville and get a better seed (in the Big East championship) than them.”

Estrada’s x-rays last week and an MRI report Wednesday were normal.

“It’s hurting really bad,” Estrada said.

The Bulls’ No. 1 player, sophomore Lucas Jovita, also has a wrist injury. He was unable to play for two consecutive matches and practices only two days a week.

Jovita and Estrada are the Bulls’ No. 1 doubles team, but they fell from No. 27 to No. 44 in the nation this week. Jovita also fell from No. 70 to No. 75 in singles.

“We’re just trying to make sure they’re religiously going in and doing their rehabs,” Barr said.

One plus for Barr is sophomore Romain Deridder, who strained his right rotator cuff almost two weeks ago but will play this weekend.

“I feel much better,” he said. “I think we’re much better than (VCU). I’m confident about this weekend.”

Barr said Estrada, Jovita and Deridder will be match-time decisions.

“When I get up there, I’ll make the judgment and see if I feel Yannick (Yoshizawa) is stepping up and Mark (Oljaca) is stepping up,” he said. “I’ll take a look and get a good feel. I definitely want to make sure that we’re a lot healthier before the conference.”