February 03, 2010
A Sleepless nights are in store for Michigan State coach Tom Izzo as he waits for results of the X-rays that could determine the trajectory of his team's season.
Kalin Lucas, the fifth-ranked Spartans' leading scorer, suffered what has initially been diagnosed as a sprained right ankle late in Tuesday's 67-49 loss to Wisconsin when he rose to shoot and came down on a defender's left foot.
Trainers had to help Lucas off the floor because he was in too much pain to put any weight on his right ankle. Lucas told the Lansing State Journal that he won't know until Wednesday whether the ankle is broken, but that he believes he has a "high sprain," which typically means longer healing time.
"He's limping bad," MSU coach Tom Izzo told reporters after the game. "It's not a good sprain, but it's not broken or it doesn't seem like that. The issue seems to be if he's a fast healer or not. It's not good, that's for sure."
Even if Lucas is only out a week or two, it could be damaging for Michigan State's bid to land a top-two seed in next month's NCAA tournament. Up next for the Big Ten-leading Spartans (9-1) are Illinois (6-3) and Purdue (6-3), teams that along with Wisconsin (7-3) and perhaps Ohio State (6-3) suddenly have to be harboring dreams of catching Michigan State in the conference title race.
Lost amid the hubbub over the reigning Big Ten player of the year going down was that Wisconsin looked the part of a Final Four contender. The Badgers jumped to a 10-1 lead and led by six or more the rest of the way, earning their seventh consecutive victory over Michigan State in Madison.