Missouri announces Laurence Bowers’ right knee injury is just a sprain

Missouri received the best news it could possibly have hoped for Wednesday regarding the right knee injury Laurence Bowers sustained the previous night.

Tests confirmed Bowers suffered a sprained MCL but did not reveal any further ligament damage. The fifth-year senior will miss at least Missouri's next two games at Ole Miss and at home against Georgia before being reevaluated.

""GOD is an AWESOME GOD!" Bowers tweeted Wednesday. "He has held my hand tightly this last year and a half."

It was vital for Missouri not to lose Bowers for more than a few games because he has been the Tigers' best frontcourt player this season. Since returning from the torn ACL in his left knee that cost him all of last season, Bowers has averaged 16.8 points and 6.9 rebounds by turning himself into one of college basketball's best face-up power forwards.

The question now will be whether Bowers will be healthy enough to return for maybe Missouri's toughest SEC game, a Jan. 19 visit to Florida. His rebounding, outside shooting and leadership will be tough for Missouri to replace for however long he is out.

If reserve forward Tony Criswell is able to return from the broken finger in his left hand that has sidelined him the past three games, he would be the most obvious candidate to replace Bowers in the starting lineup. If Criswell still isnt ready against Ole Miss, the Tigers could either go small by sliding Earnest Ross from the wing to power forward or go big with 6-foot-11 freshman Stefan Jankovic.

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