As if the Michigan State Spartans needed anymore injuries to their already depleted front court, now they can add one more to the list and hopefully it is nothing more than ‘a couple weeks.’
Miles Bridges will be out at least a couple of weeks with an ankle injury, Tom Izzo just announced
— Kyle Austin (@kylebaustin) December 1, 2016
According to Spartans head coach Tom Izzo, the ankle started to bother Bridges following the team’s loss at Duke on Tuesday night. Luckily, the X-rays of Bridges’ foot showed no major structural damage.
“I don’t know exactly what it is yet, but it’s been sore,” Izzo said. “It’s kind of on the top (of his ankle), so it’s in a position where we just need to take care of him. He’s gonna rest it for at least a couple weeks, that’s why he’s on crutches.”
Izzo has yet to play with a full deck of cards this season and that could very well be the case all season long. Both of his key big men, senior Gavin Schilling (knee) and graduate transfer Ben Carter (ACL) are sidelined indefinitely. Should both miss the entire season, they could have the chance to redshirt, or in Carter’s case, be granted another year of eligibility to play, whether it is at MSU or elsewhere.
“We’re just gonna take those injuries one at a time,” Izzo said after practice Thursday. “I mean, I don’t know when anybody will be back right now. I’m definitely not worried about Miles as much as I am the other two as far as length of time. But two or three (weeks) right now is a lot of time because you want to get better at this time. So we’ll see if (Bridges) is a quick healer or if he’s not a quick healer.”
Bridges through eight games played leads the team in points (16.6), rebounds (8.8) and minutes (32.5) on a per-game basis. His absence not only means more significant and meaningful minutes for freshman Nick Ward and sophomore walk-on Kenny Goins, but it also opens the door for the likes of Kyle Ahrens and Matt Van Dyk to see more regular minutes off the bench.
As far as overcoming the odds and injuries, junior point guard and team captain Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn Jr. says it is nothing new for Michigan State, with regards to the program and this team in particular.
“It’s a battle for us with him being down, with Gavin being down, with Ben being down,” junior captain Tum Tum Nairn said. “It’s a lot of adversity. But that’s what we do with adversity – we pick each other up, we’re gonna rally around (Bridges) and the rest of those guys as a team.”
Michigan State will take the floor again on Saturday against Oral Roberts (4:30 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network) in what will be the first of five straight home games for the Spartans. On paper, it is a considerably lighter slate of games compared to the gauntlet they endured through November.