Michigan State basketball’s challenging fall, in which they’ve surged into the top 25 in the polls despite a daunting schedule, just got a little more challenging, as the school announced forward Malik Hall is expected to miss the next three weeks with a stress reaction in his left foot.
The announcement came hours before the No. 15 Spartans (3-1) opened their run in the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Oregon, against No. 18 Alabama on Thursday night.
According to a release from the school, Hall “felt discomfort” after MSU’s victory over Villanova on Friday night at Breslin Center. The Spartans don’t expect the senior will need surgery to recover.
AKINS AILING:Izzo: No major issue with Jaden Akins' left foot
“I feel bad for Malik as he was off to a strong start to his senior season,” MSU head coach Tom Izzo said in a release. “If there’s a silver lining to be found, the medical staff is optimistic that the injury was discovered before it progressed into something more serious. While we absolutely won’t rush him back, the early diagnosis should hopefully result in a shorter absence.”
Hall was averaging 12 points, 5.3 rebounds and one assist a game over his first four appearances. The preseason All-Big Ten first-team selection averaged 8.9 points and 4.6 rebounds while shooting 42.6% on 3-pointers last season in a reserve role.
The injury is the latest medical woe for the Spartans; sophomore guard Jaden Akens, who underwent ankle surgery during the offseason and missed much of fall camp, left Friday’s game against Villanova with about six minutes remaining. Akins received X-rays after the game, and Izzo said they didn’t reveal any issues with the repaired joint. MSU is not sure whether Akins will play in Thursday’s game, or either of the two other games, Friday and Sunday, scheduled for the tourney in Oregon.
“If there's any question mark,” Izzo said, “we're not worried about the three games (in the PKI) over the 24 that are left.”
Free Press sports writer Chris Solari contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Malik Hall to miss 3 weeks for Michigan State basketball with injury