The school announced on Thursday that Muhammad suffered a right shoulder strain and will miss the next two to four weeks. An MRI revealed the extent of the injury following its occurrence in practice on Wednesday.
Standing at 6-foot-6, Muhammad is the crown jewel of a highly-touted freshmen class that has been riddled with uncertainty since arriving on campus. While both Jordan Adams and Tony Parker have been cleared to play by the NCAA, investigations and rumors on both Muhammad and fellow top-10 prospect Kyle Anderson have carried on.
The waiting game has forced UCLA into becoming one of the more unique enigmas in the preseason. With Muhammad and Anderson on the court, the Bruins could be a force in the Pac-12, but without them there is slight hesitation in just how good they will be.
There is not timetable for any NCAA clearance at this time and that’s a feeling that has carried on throughout the past two months. Muhammad is being investigated for financial dealings and connections prior to his arrival at UCLA. Regardless of the injury, it’s his eligibility that may undoubtedly keep him off the court, even when he recovers. Anderson’s case is a separate review.
Muhammad’s injury is only the latest setback for a Bruins’ roster that also includes a solid blend of upperclassmen. Tyler Lamb was forced away from the court following knee surgery, but is expected to return at some point during the non-conference schedule. In addition, just last week, David Wear was also banged up in practice, but is looking to return to the court in the coming days.
UCLA opens up the season on Nov. 9 at the newly renovated Pauley Pavilion against Indiana State.
Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @TheArenaPulse