Nate Bendall, Utah State’s strong junior post player, was back in the Spectrum Tuesday night — but not in uniform.
Less than a week after what some have described as a ‘minor surgery’ to repair an atrial flutter, Bendall was on the sidelines in dress clothes watching his teammates take on Western Oregon in the final non-conference tuneup game for the Aggie before they take on New Mexico State on Saturday to open WAC play.
Bendall had what was called an ‘cardiac ablation’ last Wednesday and has spent the last few days recovering and enjoying the holidays.
Asked how he was feeling and how the procedure went before the game on Tuesday, Bendall said “It’s good. Everything went smooth.”
The 6-foot-9, 245-pound junior from Skyline High has averaged 11.3 points and a team-best 6.8 rebounds per game before the surgery. The procedure was done to prevent a recurrence of what happened early in the season when his heart rate skyrocketed in Boston when the Aggies played Northeastern. Bendall’s heart rate didn’t calm down regularly and he stayed an extra night in a Boston-area hospital for observation.
After further testing and consultation, Bendall chose to have the procedure done last week rather than wait until after the season was over.
Bendall missed last Wednesday’s game against Weber State as well as Tuesday’s contest against Western Oregon. Matt Formisano started last week in Bendall’s absense and sophomore Modou Niang got the starting assignment against WOU.
Bendall is expected to be back in uniform and in the starting lineup on Saturday at NMSU.