Essien to visit cardiologist, determine path to return

Posted at 3:03 PM, Jan 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-08 20:59:04-05

NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- Old Dominion sophomore point guard Imo Essien will visit with a cardiologist on Monday to undergo examination and help determine his next steps in a path to return, according to Monarchs' head coach Jeff Jones.

Essien went down with a little more than 13 minutes to play in the first half of Saturday's 81-75 win over Georgia Southern with an undisclosed medical situation. Jones says the sophomore had trouble catching his breath. He was examined by medical staff, which was able to help him return to breathing normally, and was able to return to the bench for the remainder of the game. Essien traveled back to Norfolk with the team on Saturday night.

Jones told News 3 that Essien's vital signs were normal and he never lost consciousness. The point guard underwent a COVID test following the incident, which came back negative.

Essien will be held out of practice on Monday and meet with the cardiologist. Jones said how the team will move forward in terms of Essien getting back onto the court will be determined after that visit and any necessary medical procedures are performed. The sophomore was held out of practice with a non-COVID illness early last week, but had recovered and had a "great" practice on Wednesday, according to Jones.

A guard from Wylie, Texas, Essien has started 15 of ODU's 16 games this season, averaging 5.4 points per game. His 29.4 minutes per contest rank fourth on the Monarchs, up significantly from last season's 7.1 minutes per outing.

This is a developing story and we will continue to bring you updates as they become available.