Turns out that Jayson Tatum’s left foot injury is not as serious as first feared.
Tests revealed Wednesday that the prized Duke freshman suffered only a sprain during the program’s pro day the previous day. The injury will sideline Tatum for just two weeks, meaning the 6-foot-8 freshman will sit out both Duke’s exhibition games but could be healthy enough to play in the Blue Devils’ season opener against Marist on Nov. 11.
“This is the best possible news,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement released by the school. “It is a manageable injury that will not impact Jayson long-term. We look forward to having him back very soon.”
Only losing Tatum for a couple weeks is welcome news for Duke because he appeared to be the team’s most polished, college-ready freshman. The high-scoring swingman has drawn frequent praise for his performance in practice so far including an 18-point shooting clinic at last Saturday night’s Countdown to Craziness event.
Tatum is the second member of Duke’s decorated freshman class to suffer an injury this month. Forward Harry Giles, arguably the top prospect in the 2016 class, underwent his third knee surgery in the past three years and is not expected to be ready in time for Duke’s season opener on Nov. 11.
With a healthy Giles and Tatum, Duke is a runaway favorite to win a national title this season. The gap between the Blue Devils and the rest of the field would narrow considerably if one or both of their star freshmen are hampered.
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