During the first half of Duke’s 68-to-40 win over Clemson on Jan. 8, senior forward Ryan Kelly injured his right foot. This is the same foot that kept Kelly sidelined during the ACC and NCAA tournaments last season. Kelly had surgery on his right foot last March, but claimed to be at 100% at the start of this season. Coach Mike Krzyzewski should be mildly worried to say the least.
Krzyzewski was unsure about the significance of Kelly’s injury, so he opted to play it safe and keep Kelly out in the second half against an inferior Clemson squad. Kelly is set to have X-rays and a CAT scan to determine the extent of his injury.
Coach K primarily uses a 7-man rotation and does not have adequate depth in the front or back court. If Kelly is sidelined at all, Duke could struggle against fellow ACC rivals. Duke will take on N.C. State this Saturday, Jan. 12. If Kelly is not ready to play by Saturday the Blue Devils will get their first loss of the season. Duke will have to play freshman forward Amile Jefferson in Kelly’s place, and he is just not ready to make an impact at this level.
Kelly has scored 13.4 points, while grabbing 5.4 rebounds, and 1.7 blocked shots per game this year. He is a superb presence on both ends of the court standing at 6’11”. He leads the team in shot blocks, while being top three in points and rebounds. Kelly is also the Blue Devils best 3-point shooter and is shooting over 57% on the season.
By the end of today the results of Kelly’s X-rays should be known, and we will have a better idea of how Duke will look against a hot N.C. State team.