Indiana guard Maurice Creek, who had each of his last three seasons cut short or wiped out due to season-ending leg injuries, hurt his right foot in practice on Sunday, the school announced Wednesday evening. Creek will be out "indefinitely" according to Indiana's release, but he tweeted that the injury is not season-ending.
"I appreciate the love #HoosierNation," he wrote. "This is not the end of my season...I will be back."
That Creek is hurt again is sad news regardless of your allegiance simply because of what the senior has already endured.
In December 2009, Creek fractured his left kneecap, costing him the rest of his freshman season. Then in January 2011, Creek suffered a stress fracture in the patella of his other knee, ending his season early once again. And worst of all, Creek tore his left Achilles walking upstairs to his apartment in October 2011 days before the start of practice last season.
The injuries robbed Creek of the explosiveness he demonstrated early in his freshman year when he established himself as Indiana's best player and appeared capable of playing in the NBA within a couple years.
Prior to the first knee injury, he averaged 16.4 points per game, shot 44.8 percent from 3-point range and memorably erupted for 31 points against Kentucky. Through 10 games this season, he had averaged a modest 3.0 points and 1.6 rebounds.
His most memorable game this season came in an otherwise meaningless exhibition against NAIA Indiana Wesleyan.
After checking into the game early in the first half to a standing ovation and the sound of the Indiana student section chanting his name, Creek showed his battered legs still had some spring left in them, scoring a team-high 12 points in 15 minutes. He'll surely get another ovation just as loud assuming he manages to get healthy again this season.
"Maurice has been doing so much to improve and help our team," Indiana coach Tom Crean said in a statement. "Hopefully this is just a temporary setback."