Report: ND recruit blinded in left eye

The career of highly rated Notre Dame basketball recruit Eric Katenda is in doubt after he was permanently blinded in his left eye during a pickup game, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The six-foot-nine power forward was hurt during a game in Washington, D.C., and head coach Mike Brey was notified of the injury July 8.

"It was just the perfect storm. He’s coming down with a rebound and the guy kind of came up and was going for the ball and got him on an angle where it really caused an injury," Brey told the paper.

Brey said doctors were performing a procedure to alleviate pressure behind the eye when they determined that Katenda’s optical nerve had been severed. But the coach said Katenda’s spirits have remained high despite the injury.

"I don’t know if I’ve been more depressed, handling Eric and talking to him through this," Brey said. "He’s been unbelievable. His frame of mind has picked me up a couple times on the phone."

Katenda, who attended high school in Kansas, was ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 23 power forward of the 2011 class. He was taking summer courses at Maryland’s Montgomery College in an effort to obtain academic clearance from the NCAA.

Brey said the plan now is for Katenda to be fitted for goggles to see whether it is possible for him to play. He added that Katenda’s scholarship will be honored whether he suits up for the Irish or not.

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