BREAKING: Belardo out for conference-opening weekend with injury

Gaby Belardo (11.0 ppg) will not play against Iona and Fairfield this weekend.

Canisius junior guard Gaby Belardo will miss both of this weekend’s games against MAAC favorites Iona and Fairfield with a lower back injury, the school’s athletic department confirmed Thursday night.

He is officially listed as day-to-day and will be reevaluated after the weekend.

Belardo has been bothered by a sore back for several weeks. He played through the injury during the loss against Buffalo last Tuesday but was limited in practice this week.

The news is especially upsetting for Belardo, whose mother came up from Puerto Rico for this weekend’s games.

What was an uphill battle already for the Golden Griffins (1-3) this weekend is now even steeper. Iona comes to the Koessler Center Friday leading the nation in scoring average at 95.4 points per game. Fairfield, picked right behind Iona in the MAAC preseason poll, plays Niagara Friday before taking on the Griffs late Sunday afternoon.

Belardo is averaging 31.0 minutes per game in his second season with the Griffs. He is third on the team in scoring at 11.0 ppg while leading the team in assists at 2.8 per game.