The NCAA Tournament is the wrong time of the year to lose one of your team’s best players. Even more so, getting to the Sweet 16 is all fine and dandy, but if a player is not ready to go for a game in which a spot in the Elite Eight is on the line–lookout. The Michigan State Spartans found themselves in a position where they might have been without the services of Keith Appling against the Duke Blue Devils, although, Tom Izzo broke some pretty big news about their star guard.
Apparently, Appling suffered two different injuries to his body over this past weekend. Appling said he hurt his patellar tendon as well as aggravated an injury to his shoulder which was previously hurt earlier in the season. Thankfully for the Spartans, Izzo said that his guard would be “fine” for the game against the Blue Devils later in the week.
Appling averages over 13 points per game and is the catalyst for all things Michigan Sate offense related. Obviously, the news of him being ready to go must have brought a big old smile to Izzo’s otherwise angry face. Whether or not the guard will play at 100 percent was not discussed, but when asked if Appling had to play with any protection, Izzo said there were no precautionary measures in place.
Izzo did mention that he was anxious to see if Appling’s shot was going to be bothered by his troubled shoulder. This is definitely something to keep an eye out for in the Spartans’ Sweet 16 match-up.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone